Louisiana lawmakers shield their budget from chopping block

June 12, 2018 - 10:11 am
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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana lawmakers have fully funded their own budget so legislative agencies escape reductions in three weeks even as they weigh steep cuts to other programs and services.

Lawmakers passed an $85 million spending plan for the House, Senate and other legislative agencies in the fiscal year starting July 1, similar to the budget approved last year.

  That comes as audits show the House and Senate have millions in unspent fund balances.

Gov. John Bel Edwards called it irresponsible for lawmakers to cover their own paychecks and operations while leaving other agencies facing deep reductions.

Lawmakers will consider taxes to lessen cuts in a special session beginning next Monday.

Senate President John Alario says if lawmakers don't close gaps in other agencies, the legislative budget should be reworked to take cuts.

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