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Mar 12, 2012 6:47 AM by AP

3-month La. legislative session opens Monday

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A new legislative session is opening, and fights already are well underway over job protections for teachers, pension benefits for state employees and the use of state taxes for non-public schools.

That's not even counting fights over next year's budget and services on the chopping block.

Lawmakers convene at noon Monday. Gov. Bobby Jindal is scheduled to speak an hour later to the House and Senate. Jindal is pushing large changes to teacher pay and education funding, and cuts in retirement benefits for thousands of state workers.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are proposing to revisit annual fights over cell phone use while driving, sex education as a school subject, abortion restrictions and mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients.

The session must end by June 4.

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