Louisiana Political News Wire
House committee complains, but approves budget bills
BATON ROUGE -- The state's $25 billion budget gained grudging approval from a House panel Tuesday, with lawmakers saying the state was relying too much on one-time money and needs to live within its means. Despite those concerns, the House Appropriations Committee approved two of its most important bills: House Bill 1, which lays out the state budget, and House Bill 822, which lays out a plan for moving $346 million now sitting in state funds so they can be used in the budget. But the move did not sit well with those on the committee, who initially balked at approving the budget before having an in-depth discussion about the size of state government and the use of the funds. "Sometimes we pass bills out of committee knowing they need to get a lot of work. I think this is a bill that does need to have a lot of work done to it," Rep. Tony Ligi, R-Metairie, said. "We want to send a clear message to the administration that we hope between now and the floor (debate) a lot of changes are made to this bill and it's made more palatable to those who would like to see less spending and smaller government."
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