“Giving Away Louisiana,” The Advocate’s eight-day special report about Louisiana’s growing network of tax giveaway programs, was named a finalist Tuesday for a national business writing award.

The special report, published in November and December, chronicled how the costs of six giveaway programs have climbed by 400 percent in a decade and are strangling the state’s ability to pay for services like higher education and health care.

It has sparked an intense debate about the affordability of the tax breaks at a time when the state is struggling with a budget shortfall of $1.6 billion. Last week, Gov. Bobby Jindal proposed trimming the giveaways by about half a billion dollars.

The Advocate report is one of three candidates for an explanatory writing award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, which is the nation’s leading business journalism professional organization.

Also named as finalists in the category were The Connecticut Post and the Detroit News.

The winner will be announced in April.