BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — After weeks of back-room wrangling, the budget-balancing debate is moving to the floor of the Louisiana  House, with colleges and health services at the mercy of the high-stakes decisions.

House leaders intend to ask their colleagues to decide Thursday which tax changes they're willing to make — tax hikes, scaled-back tax breaks or lessened business incentives — to help balance next year's budget and close a $1.6 billion shortfall.

The House budget committee needs decisions by Monday, so it can know how much money is available to craft its version of next year's spending plan.

Action in the Appropriations Committee by early next week would keep the budget on track to make it through the House and Senate before the legislative session must end June 11.

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