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Notes from Louisiana legislature

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - An effort to force a 10 percent cut on state agencies' spending on consulting and professional services contracts received the support Tuesday of the House Appropriations Committee, without objection.

Rep. Jerome "Dee" Richard, I-Thibodaux, has tried a similar bill for several years, only to see the idea killed in the Senate Finance Committee each time.

This year's proposal has a new twist. It would move any state general fund money that is saved from the contract cuts into a special fund to help pay for public colleges, which have been hit by repeated budget cuts over the last six years.

The bill (House Bill 142), championed by Treasurer John Kennedy, moves next to the full House, which agreed unanimously to Richard's similar contract slashing proposal last year.

Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration opposes the measure.

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