- Associated Press - Monday, June 20, 2016

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

4:30 p.m.

Lawmakers in the House have agreed on a plan to divvy up the $284 million estimated to be raised by tax changes approved in the special session for next year’s budget.

Given priority were the TOPS college tuition program, college campuses and the safety-net hospitals that care for the poor.

But it still wouldn’t be enough to cover all gaps in the financial year that begins July 1.



TOPS students would have about 70 percent of their tuition costs covered. The safety-net hospitals would get the level of financing sought by Gov. John Bel Edwards administration, though not the amount wanted by hospital operators.

Public schools and health services would still face cuts.

The House voted 75-25 for the budget proposal Monday, sending it to the Senate for consideration.

___

2 p.m.

Just when it looked like the House was resistant to passing any more tax changes, lawmakers there agreed to two bills tweaking property tax breaks given to businesses.

The two bills won quick passage Monday afternoon. They would raise an estimated $70 million for next year’s budget. Both go back to the Senate for consideration of House changes.

They are likely the last proposals that could win final passage in the special session to help lessen budget cuts.

One proposal, approved 78-21, would place new limits on a tax credit businesses get for paying property taxes on their inventory - if those companies also get an exemption from paying local property taxes on their facilities.

The other proposal, backed 78-18, would rework the inventory tax credit to lessen its cost.

___

12:10 p.m.

Two tax bills that could raise more than $70 million for next year’s budget will be considered by the Louisiana House. They are likely the last proposals that could win final passage in the special session to help lessen budget cuts.

The measures would scale back some property tax breaks given to businesses. The House Ways and Means Committee approved both bills Monday, sending them to the full House for consideration.

One proposal would place new limits on a tax credit businesses get for paying property taxes on their inventory - if those companies also get an exemption from paying local property taxes on their facilities. The change would impact large manufacturers, like chemical plants.

The other proposal would rework the inventory tax credit to lessen its cost to the state.

___

9:45 a.m.

Lawmakers in the House have started advancing a budget bill to spend the $214 million in taxes they’ve raised in the special session.

Slated for more money in next year’s budget are the safety-net hospitals for the poor, the TOPS college tuition program, college campuses, the LSU medical schools and K-12 public and private schools.

The proposal backed Monday by the Appropriations Committee would give TOPS one-third of the new money. TOPS students would get 70 percent of their tuition costs covered.

The safety-net hospitals would receive nearly $51 million, the amount sought by Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration - but less than the hospital operators want.

Cuts still would fall across education, health and public safety programs.

The full House is expected to debate the budget proposal Monday afternoon.

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