BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Attorney General Buddy Caldwell's office isn't lodging an opinion about whether Gov. Bobby Jindal's budgeting tactics are in line with the state constitution.

A letter was sent this week to Republican Rep. Kirk Talbot declining to rule on his question of whether the state budget uses unconstitutional sources of financing. The questions were posed by Talbot and 18 other members of the Louisiana House who criticize Jindal's use of one-time funding to pay for continuing government programs.

Assistant Attorney General Richard McGimsey says the attorney general's office won't render an opinion since the office would be required to defend the constitutionality of the budget if it was challenged.

The refusal to render an opinion keeps the Republican Caldwell from wading into a debate that has divided members of the GOP.

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