Wednesday Session Deadline Near With No Tax Deal Reached Yet

BATON ROUGE (AP) — With a Wednesday deadline fast approaching, the House and Senate are trying to strike a deal to keep from cratering this year's budget and forcing widespread cuts on health care and colleges.

         But House Republicans have rejected several tax measures the Senate, House Democrats and Gov. John Bel Edwards had hoped could be used to drum up new money for the treasury.

         The House late Sunday rejected bills that would lessen business tax breaks, including a proposal to lower an exemption for businesses from paying sales taxes on utilities. Lawmakers may try to bring the measures up again Monday.

         The special session must end by 6 p.m. Wednesday. Lawmakers are about $150 million to $200 million short of rebalancing this year's budget and even further away on next year's budget.

         – by AP Reporter Melinda Deslatte



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