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Louisiana House Panel Opens Hearings on Edwards' Budget Plan

John Bel Edwards, Louisiana Governor

Republican lawmakers on the House budget-writing committee are resisting suggestions that Louisiana's budget needs more money next year. Instead, they're suggesting they'll be looking for deeper cuts.

The Appropriations Committee opened hearings Tuesday on Gov. John Bel Edwards' state spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The Democratic governor says the $29 billion operating budget proposal is more than $400 million short of what he thinks is needed to pay for state priorities. He's expected to propose tax changes to drum up more money.

Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry says committee members will be looking for ways to lessen spending. Rep. Blake Miguez, a Republican from Erath, says he can't support tax hikes when workers in his district are struggling with the oil and gas industry decline.