BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — State senators have shelved the latest effort to give Louisiana's legislative auditor access to income tax data to check Medicaid eligibility.

The Senate tax committee voted 5-3 Monday against the House-approved proposal from Republican Rep. Tony Bacala.

Bacala says he's seeking the information to combat fraud and save taxpayers money.

Opponents say the health department has improved its wage-verification system to check eligibility. Democrats say Bacala's approach seems to target the poor.

Bacala has proposed the idea multiple times, only to fail to win passage. He broadened the legislation this session beyond Medicaid to give the auditor access to tax return data to crosscheck eligibility for state-administered programs that use an "income or asset test."

That could also sweep in the food stamp program.

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