New Orleans Convention Center bill clears Louisiana House

After a second try in two days, legislation that would allow the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans to expand its footprint cleared the Louisiana House.

The House voted 69-20 in favor or House Bill 516 after the proposal’s sponsor, state Rep. Walt Leger III, made another run at it. The approval came a day after the House rejected the proposal.

HB516 would allow the Ernest N. Morial-New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority to issue tax-free bonds and other financial instruments. At its heart, the bill aims to redevelop New Orleans’ riverfront, including the World Trade Center, by allowing the convention center to partner with private companies.

Leger, D-New Orleans, told the House that the bill would allow his city to remain competitive in the convention business.

“The convention center is the central part of one of the greatest industries,” he said.