Melinda Deslatte / The Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Hundreds of people have packed rooms and hallways at the Louisiana Capitol asking lawmakers to reverse budget cuts planned for next year.

On Monday, the House Appropriations Committee began two days of hearings for the general public to testify about programs they support and want to see protected from cuts currently proposed in Gov. Bobby Jindal's spending plans for the new fiscal year that begins July 1.

A group of district attorneys and education officials from around the state asked lawmakers to restore funding for a truancy program, while others sought to undo cuts that could close rural museums and shrink spending on arts grants. Well-known Louisiana chef John Folse asked for more dollars in tourism advertising, for an industry that is one of the state's largest.

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