Two-month legislative session opens Monday

Two-month legislative session opens Monday

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Piecing together a solution to the state's financial mess is the primary agenda for lawmakers returning to Baton Rouge.

The Louisiana Legislature opens its two-month regular session Monday. Lawmakers are grappling with a $1.6 billion budget shortfall and finding themselves in frayed relations with a term-limited governor who appears to be readying for a presidential campaign.

The House and Senate gavel in at noon. Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks to a joint gathering an hour later.

Lawmakers haven't embraced the Republican governor's financial proposals for closing the budget gap. They are working on their own ideas to avoid steep cuts to colleges and health care services.

Jindal's main legislative agenda item involves his bid to yank the Common Core education standards from Louisiana's public school classrooms. The issue has divided lawmakers.

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