Regular legislative session reaches halfway point

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Halfway through the regular legislative session, lawmakers have given final passage to sweeping education changes, but the one item they have to complete before they can wrap up their work remains an unbalanced jumble.

Next year's $25 billion budget faces a list of troubles: falling income estimates, ties to uncertain retirement changes and disputes over how much one-time money should be plugged into the spending plan.

It's not an unusual place to be with six weeks to go before the legislative session must end. But the uncertainties are a bit larger than lawmakers often see, with more than $1 billion tied to unresolved issues.

Legislative leaders say they plan to tweak the state's income estimates by early May, and the expectations are grim, with revenue figures expected to drop.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)