BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — With Louisiana's economic picture brightening, legislative leaders are proposing to boost their budget next year.

The budget to finance the House, Senate and other legislative agencies would grow to more than $98 million next year, under recommendations approved without objection Wednesday by a panel of legislative leaders.

That's a $6 million increase for the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1.

The proposal goes first to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration, but with backing of the legislative leadership, few changes are expected.

Most of the increases across the legislative agencies are for pay raises for the employees that work for lawmakers, if they get good annual performance reviews, and for increased retirement obligations.

The legislative budget has had few increases in recent years because of the state's budget difficulties.

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