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May 27, 2010 5:00 PM

La. House begins moving budget despite dispute

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) The House's budget panel has ended its delay of the state's budget bill, agreeing to slash funding from colleges and charity hospitals to make the numbers work without using cash that is part of a dispute with the Senate.

The center of the disagreement between House and Senate leaders involves the "rainy day" fund. Both sides want to use the fund, but they disagree about its repayment. The House Appropriations Committee reworked the budget bill Thursday to remove the one-time money tied up in the dispute.

That left lawmakers on the committee to make additional cuts to the $24 billion budget proposal. Among the biggest cuts were $50 million levied on colleges and $68 million stripped from charity hospitals. Another $65 million in cuts would be left up to the governor's office to spread among state agencies.

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