La. lawmakers try to wrap up work on $25B budget

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana legislative leaders hope to complete their haggling over next year's $25 billion budget a day before the regular session must end.

The Senate backed a $25.6 billion operating budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1, House members were set on Sunday to consider whether to back those spending plans.

The package of bills contains $270 million in one-time money to balance the budget. A bloc of conservative Republicans in the House call it irresponsible to use the patchwork funding to pay for services that will reappear year after year.

But Republican House Speaker Chuck Kleckley and the Jindal administration support the Senate version of the budget. They say that without the one-time money, colleges and health care services would face devastating cuts.

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