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Louisiana's construction budget worries lessen

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Months after Louisiana's construction budget got so tight that some projects appeared threatened with shutdown, state officials have been helped by brightened revenue forecasts and low interest rates.

Now, the state is on track to keep up with projects in the pipeline and a new bond sale is on the horizon.

At one point, Louisiana was teetering so close to its constitutional limit on debt that Treasurer John Kennedy said the state's pool of money to pay for ongoing construction projects was running dry and there was little room to borrow more.

Gov. Bobby Jindal's top budget adviser, Kristy Nichols, says the situation never was as bad as that.

But both sides now agree the state has the wiggle room to borrow again, to replenish the fund for construction projects.

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