BATON ROUGE, LA - Lawmakers working on the state's construction budget stripped dollars from a planned $1.2 billion public hospital in New Orleans, saying they have questions about its financing.
The House Ways and Means Committee on Monday removed $900 million in borrowing authority that had been set aside for the teaching hospital. Without that authority, Jerry Jones, the governor's top construction adviser says the hospital's building would be delayed at least another year.
The construction budget heads next to the full House for debate. The committee agreed with Republican Rep. Cameron Henry, of Jefferson Parish, to remove the dollars without opposition. Henry says the hospital -- which would replace the flooded Charity Hospital -- doesn't have an adequate business plan to explain how it will finance its ongoing operations.