- Associated Press - Monday, May 15, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The House budget committee took conflicting approaches to locking up more money into protected funds.

The Appropriations Committee advanced a proposal Monday that would dedicate $2 million a year to the inspector general’s office that investigates fraud, waste and abuse in government.

Rep. Julie Stokes, a Kenner Republican, said her constitutional amendment would promote independence for the watchdog agency by making it less vulnerable to cuts.

Some lawmakers objected to the protection move but didn’t have enough support to kill the bill, which heads next to the House floor.

If backed by the House and Senate, the dedication would require voter approval.

Advancement of Stokes’ bill came after the committee also sent to the full House a proposal aiming to undo other constitutional dedications.

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House Bill 443: www.legis.la.gov

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