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May 24, 2010 7:04 PM

Budget dispute up for discussion Tuesday

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) State House and Senate leaders don't agree on much when it comes to the budget debate. But they have agreed to attend a meeting of the state's income forecasting panel Tuesday and air their disagreements publicly.

The planned meeting of the Revenue Estimating Conference comes as both sides have ratcheted up their rhetoric and accused each other of political gamesmanship.

The dispute centers on the use of the state's "rainy day" fund. Lawmakers agree they want to tap into the fund to help plug this year's budget shortfall but they disagree on when the money should be repaid. That will be part of the Revenue Estimating Conference discussion.

House leaders have stalled the budget bills to address a $319 million deficit this year, and to chart spending plans for next year because of the disagreement.

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