News roundup: 3 reportedly injured in fire at LSU Law Center … BRAC endorses hotel occupancy tax increase … $15B in Louisiana Medicaid contracts up for consideration

Emergency: Three people were transported to the hospital with burns after a fire broke out at the LSU Law Center around 9:20 a.m. this morning, WAFB-TV reports. The building was evacuated, and officials do not believe the injured are students. Details are limited at this time, but LSU sent out a tweet at 9:38 a.m. asking motorists to avoid the area of Highland Road between Raphael Semmes Road and Dalrymple Drive due to road closures. A witness who was in the building at the time the fire started says it was caused by a high voltage wire or electrical box.  

On the ballot: The Baton Rouge Area Chamber is urging voters to approve a 2% hotel occupancy tax increase on the Nov. 18 ballot in East Baton Rouge Parish. The proposal would bump the rate at Baton Rouge hotels from 14% to 16%, and raise an additional $2.6 million annually for the Raising Cane’s River Center and Visit Baton Rouge. The revenue will be split evenly and used for River Center upgrades and to attract visitor-related events. In a commentary released today, BRAC says the plans outlined by River Center and Visit Baton Rouge officials align with its strategic goal of elevating the region’s external image. Read more.

Considering: Louisiana lawmakers are taking their second look at a proposal to extend high-dollar contracts for the managed-care companies that coordinate health services for most state Medicaid patients. The joint House and Senate budget committee is holding a special hearing on the extension request today. Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration is seeking to keep the deals in place for another 23 months beyond their January expiration date. The price tag for the extension is estimated at $15.4 billion in federal and state cash. Read more.

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