In local news:

Public policy research group The Mercatus Center at George Mason University ranked Louisiana No. 35 for financial health among all U.S. states. The ranking is based on short and long-term debt as well as the fiscal standing of pension programs and statewide health care benefits.  The Mercatus Center compiled the report and rankings by looking at states’ basic financial data on revenues, expenditures, cash, assets, liabilities and debt. The rankings are based on planned spending in fiscal year 2013, the most recent year for which data for all states was available. Louisiana ranks best in the service-level solvency category, at No. 18, and worst in terms of budget solvency, at No. 49. Its standing in the cash solvency category is No. 24, while the state is ranked No. 34 for long-run solvency and No. 37 for trust fund solvency.

Read more from Baton Rouge Business Report here. Read specific findings for Louisiana here.

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