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Lawmakers shield themselves from cuts


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — As they weigh steep cuts across state services, Louisiana lawmakers have fully funded their own budget so legislative agencies are poised to escape reductions in three weeks, even as those agencies are sitting on tens of millions of dollars in unspent funds.

Lawmakers passed an $85 million spending plan for the House, Senate and other legislative agencies in the fiscal year starting July 1, similar to the budget approved last year, while education, social service and public safety programs are on the chopping block. And legislative agencies get an additional $10 million annual dedication of money