- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 8, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Latest on the special legislative session (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

The Democratic chairman of the House tax committee sided with his Republican colleagues to kill one of the main money-raising tax bills sought by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Ways and Means Chairman Neil Abramson cast the tie-breaking vote Wednesday to stall the Democratic governor’s proposal to lessen an income tax break given to upper-income earners. The committee voted 10-9 against the bill.

The proposal by Republican Rep. Rob Shadoin would have raised $117 million to fill gaps in next year’s budget by cutting tax breaks allowed for taxpayers who itemize on their individual income tax returns.

The change would return Louisiana to where the tax break was in 2007. Shadoin said 74 percent of individual income taxpayers wouldn’t be affected.

Opponents say they couldn’t support further taxes on their constituents.

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2:30 p.m.

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration is pushing back against Republican claims that Louisiana isn’t maximizing the savings available from the Medicaid expansion that begins next month.

Health Secretary Rebekah Gee said Wednesday next year’s budget already assumes $184 million in Medicaid expansion savings - and that’s all the savings available.

Gee told the House Ways and Means Committee: “We have left no stone unturned.”

Republicans are resisting many of Edwards’ tax proposals. The governor says without new revenue, education and health programs will face cuts.

Documents circulated by GOP lawmakers suggested Louisiana could tap into more federal financing to bail out the budget without raising taxes as the Democratic governor proposes in the special session.

The documents came from Bruce Greenstein, a former Louisiana health secretary who opposed Medicaid expansion.

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