BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal's top budget architect says the state will have enough money to cover the costs of privatizing all but one of the 10 LSU-run hospitals.

Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols says all deals, including a takeover of University Medical Center by Lafayette General Medical Center, will be completed next month.

Nichols was addressing questions raised by the Legislature's financial analysts about whether next year's budget will be short of the money needed to cover the privatization.

She says she's asking senators to amend the budget to address the financing gap. She says anticipated lease payments, additional state dollars and federal Medicaid money will close the gap.

Nichols says the total operating budget for all LSU-affiliated hospitals will be $1 billion next year, an increase from $955 million. She says the state will net $100 million in savings because of lease payments.

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