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Louisiana preparing for bond sale

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - Louisiana is on track to borrow nearly $500 million in February to replenish the fund that pays for state-backed construction projects.

The Bond Commission gave preliminary approval to the borrowing plan Thursday. Treasurer John Kennedy says the details will be fleshed out next month.

The plan involves selling $347 million in tax-exempt bonds and $149 million in taxable bonds to investors for upfront cash. The bond debt will be paid off over decades with interest.

The money will keep construction dollars flowing for college building repairs, economic development projects, road work and state-funded local projects.

At one point, Louisiana's construction budget got so tight that some projects appeared threatened. But improved revenue forecasts and low interest rates helped give the state more room to borrow under its debt ceiling.

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