Budget debate delayed as Republicans negotiate

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – The Louisiana House has delayed its budget debate, as Republicans continue to haggle over an alternative to Gov. Bobby Jindal's spending proposal.

The compromise plan drafted by a block of conservative House Republicans and Democrats includes $329 million in cuts to tax break programs that largely benefit businesses.

Those tax changes have been slammed by Jindal and business groups as tax hikes.

House debate on the more than $24 billion budget had been scheduled for Thursday. But House Speaker Chuck Kleckley says the debate will instead be Friday, as negotiations continue behind-the-scenes.

Lawmakers in the House object to Jindal's proposal to use $500 million in uncertain, patchwork funding from property sales, legal settlements and fund sweeps to pay for ongoing expenses. They are working to strip that from the budget.

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