3-month La. legislative session opens Monday

Baton Rouge, LA (AP) - A new legislative session opens Monday with fights well underway over job protections for teachers, pension benefits for state employees and the use of state tax dollars for non-public schools.

And that's not even counting the battles over next year's budget and services on the chopping block.

Lawmakers convene at noon, and Gov. Bobby Jindal is scheduled to speak an hour later to the House and Senate. Jindal's pushing large changes to teacher pay and education funding, and he's proposing to shrink retirement benefits for thousands of state workers.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are proposing to revisit annual fights over cell phone use while driving, teaching sex education in classes, abortion restrictions and mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients.

The session must end by June 4.

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