Lawmakers sign off on deal for IBM service center

Lawmakers agreed to the state's contract with IBM, to build a new service center in Baton Rouge, and approved $8 million from an incentive fund to help pay for the deal.

The joint budget committee approved both items Wednesday without objection.

IBM says it plans to employ 800 people within four years at the Baton Rouge center, which will develop and maintain software for U.S. clients.

The project involves $74 million in federal, state and local funding over 12 years.

Lawmakers Wednesday agreed to spend $8 million from the Mega Project Fund.

Nearly half of the dollars will to IBM to lease temporary office space and recruit and train workers. A separate foundation that will construct a building for the IBM service center will receive $4.4 million to buy land.

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