ATLANTA -- The Louisiana House of Representatives last week approved legislation authorizing the state's Stadium & Exposition District to sell $215 million of tax-exempt revenue bonds to refund its outstanding debt and finance various sports-related construction projects in the New Orleans area.

"This legislation is very important to the economy of New Orleans, and I think it will be passed," into law, the bill's sponsor, Rep. Sherman Copelin, D-New Orleans, said in an interview Thursday. "The bill is also important because it will completely leave the state off the hook for any payment of debt service."

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