CBNC, May 24, 2011

Lawmakers working Monday on Louisiana's annual construction budget stripped dollars from a planned $1.2 billion public hospital in New Orleans, hoping to slow the building of the teaching and research facility. The House Ways and Means Committee removed $900 million in borrowing authority that had been set aside for the new, 424-bed hospital called University Medical Center. Rep. Cameron Henry, R-Jefferson, said he pushed the move because of financing questions. "I'm all for the building of a teaching hospital in New Orleans," he said. "I don't think we should throw an endless amount of money to make it happen." But Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration said the committee's action, if upheld by the full Legislature, won't stall construction scheduled to start this summer.

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