Budget deal up for vote in session's final hours

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Lawmakers who have negotiated a tentative budget deal are hoping to persuade their colleagues in the final hours of the legislative session.

The proposal would finance state government operations in the fiscal year that begins July 1 - and keep lawmakers out of a special session.

The regular session must end by 6 p.m. Thursday. The proposed compromise was reached in a hand-shake agreement Wednesday among nine legislative leaders.

It is backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal. The deal includes a $69 million increase for local school districts sought by House Democrats and limits on the patchwork financing used to pay for continuing programs to address concerns from House Republicans.

Also, Jindal has agreed to sign bills sought by conservative House lawmakers seeking to change the budget process in later years.

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