By MELINDA DESLATTE Associated Press
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Lawmakers in the Louisiana House are opening their budget hearings amid a new round of partisan financial disputes.
Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards and House Republican leaders are arguing over how much money Louisiana is collecting in taxes and whether to spend it all.
Republican House Speaker Taylor Barras has blocked economists’ recommendations to increase the state income forecast and make more money available for next year’s budget.
Edwards proposed a 2019-20 spending plan that assumes the money eventually will be recognized.
House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry introduced a budget proposal that spends part of the unrecognized money, but $134 million less than the governor’s $30 billion recommendation.
Henry’s bill will be the basis for budget hearings starting Monday in the Appropriations Committee. The legislative session opens a week later.