Associated PressNewsState

2 bills escape session, but neither addresses La. budget gap

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Only two proposals reached the governor’s desk before Louisiana’s special session wrapped up early. Neither addresses the session’s aim of closing the budget gap.

The bills, given final passage Monday, would grant a disaster tax break to flood victims and boost a cell phone tax that pays for deaf services.

The first measure, sponsored by Baton Rouge Rep. Ted James, would keep from having a state income tax deduction impacted by certain disaster losses in tax years 2015 through 2017.

The second proposal, carried by Baton Rouge Rep. Patricia Smith, would edge up a 4.5-cent monthly tax on cellphones enacted last year to 5 cents. The dollars pay for technology assistance and services for people who are deaf.

Gov. John Bel Edwards is expected to sign the bills into law.

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