14:30 LRN Newscast March 29

The Louisiana Public Service Commission has approved the sale of Cleco to a private investment group for nearly five-billion dollars. Halen Doughty has more…
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The chief financial officer for the state’s health department says the expansion of Medicaid would save the state 124-million dollars next fiscal year. Jeff Reynolds says that would help avoid some cuts as a result of a 750-million dollar revenue shortfall, but there’s still a concern about the future of privatized LSU hospitals.

State transportation secretary Shawn Wilson says damage to the state’s roods from recent floods is at about 20-million dollars. Wilson says with the state already looking at a nearly 13-million dollar backlog on road repairs, they’re working with their federal partners to determine how they’ll pay for the repairs…
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Wilson says there’s still about 60 roads or bridges that remained closed as a result of the floods.

Starting on April 1st, the state tax on a pack of cigarettes will go up 22-cents to a $1.08. Bill Bailey owns Smoker’s Paradise in Pineville and he’s already seen customers switch to small cigars…
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The state estimates the higher cigarette tax will generate 11-million dollars between April 1st and June 30th.