ATLANTA -- The Louisiana Legislature this week approved placing the state's struggling charity hospital system under a health authority that would be authorized to sell about $300 million of revenue bonds for badly needed upkeep.

The bill, expected to be signed Mondays by Gov. Buddy Roemer, removes the decrepit system of nine charity hospitals from the state's Department of Health and Hospitals and transfers control to local boards operating under the Louisiana Health Care Authority. Each of the boards will develop policy and annual operating budgets of the individual hospitals.

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