May 19, 2010 4:24 PM by Melissa Canone
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - In a repeat of the divide that marred
last year's budget haggling, disagreements between House and Senate
leaders have stalled work on the budget.
Lawmakers must rebalance this year's budget, which contains a
$319 million deficit, and they need to shape spending plans for the
new year that begins July 1. But legislative leaders differ on the
use of one-time money to plug gaps and on how deeply agencies
should be cut.
At the heart of the disputes is the use of the state's "rainy
day" fund. The House and Senate agree they want to use the fund to
help plug this year's budget shortfall - but they disagree on when
it should be repaid.
Rep. Jim Fannin, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee,
isn't moving the budget bills until some key issues in the dispute