BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana lawmakers passed a 0.45% sales tax in 2018 to stabilize state finances and pledged the tax hike would be a temporary bridge to balance the budget. But three years later, Republican state Senate leaders are proposing to keep the tax on the books permanently and steer the dollars to road and bridge work. Critics are crying foul. They say the proposal being pushed in the waning days of the legislative session would renege on a promise made to residents. Backers of making the tax permanent cite the state’s $15 billion backlog of transportation projects. The debate is expected to be hashed out this week in the Senate Finance Committee.

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