Public lodges its budget requests with senators

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana residents who rely on the state for health care, education and social services are taking their budget pleas to state senators Saturday.

The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a day to give the public an opportunity to lodge requests for next year's $25 billion operating budget.

Lawmakers are haggling over how deeply to cut the budget in the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1 and whether to use one-time, piecemeal financing to patch holes and offset cuts.

A bloc of House Republicans was successful in its push to strip $268 million in one-time dollars from the budget proposal. Senators are considering whether to restore the dollars, as sought by the Jindal administration.

College and health care leaders say without the money, they would struggle with steep reductions.

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