Roundup: Oil prices / Lawmakers’ pet projects / Luxury home sales 

    $70 a barrel: The price of oil is on course this morning to close above $70 a barrel for the first time in two years, soaring on investors’ optimism that improving oil demand and a dwindling supply glut may mean the market can absorb any additional supply from OPEC and its allies, according to The Wall Street Journal.  

    Winners and losers: The Louisiana Legislature prioritized roads, bridges and lawmakers’ pet projects in its $43 billion dollar spending plan for the state budget cycle that starts July 1.  Lawmakers’ budget negotiations were easier this year because the state ended up having over $2 billion in unexpected money to spend. See the full list of who’s benefiting—and who was left out—in Louisiana Illuminator.

    White elephants: Since the start of the pandemic, Americans looking to buy a home have struggled with bidding wars and a limited number of houses for sale. But one area of the cutthroat real estate landscape is improving: The luxury segment, where listings are up and homes are selling at a rapid clip,  USA Today reports. The demand is so great that even “white elephants”—high-end homes that sat on the market for months—are selling quickly as their owners willingly splurge on remodeling projects to spruce them up. Read the full story.