Friday afternoon legislative update - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Friday afternoon legislative update

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BATON ROUGE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - Building blocks for a $24.7 billion budget compromise have easily cleared the House, paving the way for debate on the spending plans for next year. Lawmakers overwhelmingly Friday supported proposals to trim tax breaks for big box retailers, the film industry and the oil and gas industry. They also agreed to bills tweaking the budget process, to limit the use of patchwork funding for ongoing programs. And they backed a tax amnesty program. Those measures were sent to the Senate. House leaders are supporting an alternative to the proposal submitted by Gov. Bobby Jindal. The compromise would replace $500 million Jindal proposed in one-time financing with money from cutting tax breaks, reductions to state agencies and the anticipation of $200 million from the tax amnesty program. Editors: Further developments are expected. By Melinda Deslatte.

On another front, proposals to tie public funding to student performance and issue letter grades to Louisiana's public and private early childhood education programs are finding easy passage through the Legislature. Two Senate bills are the cornerstones of Gov. Bobby Jindal's attempt to restructure early childhood education and to create uniform standards for kindergarten readiness. They have cleared the Senate with very little discussion and no objections from lawmakers. They aren't expected to run into trouble in the House. The bills, by Sens. Conrad Appel and Mike Walsworth, are enabling legislation for Act 3, a structural framework approved by lawmakers last year.

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