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Jun 4, 2010 5:00 AM

House debates $25 billion budget

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) House members are expecting a full day of grim discussions as they haggle Friday over the $25 billion budget bill to pay for state operations next year.

The House and Senate remain in a near-stalemate over financing plans.

To make the numbers work without using money that is part of a dispute with the Senate, the House budget panel slashed funding from colleges and charity hospitals and gave the governor's office broad discretion to cut even further.

Those moves are expected to be among the source of complaints from lawmakers who want to tap into pools of one-time money to offset some of the cuts. House leaders, including Appropriations Chairman Jim Fannin, are resistant to the idea, arguing the state's budget picture isn't improving and lawmakers must shrink government long-term.

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