New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-06-16 09:27:36 –
Before closing the session, Louisiana State Legislature spent about $ 1.7 billion on federal pandemic aid, a complex network of programs to send money to ports, water systems, tourism marketing activities, and broadband projects in poorly serviced areas. created.
Over $ 1 billion has been carved from the top for two legislative priorities. $ 563 million for road and bridge construction and $ 490 million to repay the money borrowed to support the unemployment trust fund in Louisiana on the verge of bankruptcy and to cover the benefits of unemployment.
The agency and committee web splits much of the remaining money between specific projects and businesses under a bill package that illustrates spending plans and creates a bureaucracy to manage new programs. I will. Grant applications, deadlines, and other parameters have not yet been developed in most initiatives.
Parliamentarians have been repairing community water systems, especially in states where half of the system operates on structures over 50 years old and is regularly ranked by national surveys as slightly outperforming failures. And advertised the $ 300 million set aside for improvement.
“Now we have the capacity and resources to deal with this,” said Houma Republican, Jerome “Gee” Zelinge, chairman of the House Expenditure Committee, in a discussion of spending plans.
A newly established 10-member parliamentary committee decides which community’s water and sewerage systems will share funding. The Commission should hold its first meeting later this month to begin setting up a process for screening applications.
Senator Page Cortez, a Republican of Lafayette, said: “I hope other sources of funding are available,” combined with federal pandemic aid to fund the work.
Treasury Secretary John Schroeder’s office subsidizes $ 4.5 million for cinema operators who lost their businesses during a pandemic and $ 10 million for COVID-19-affected timber harvesting and transportation businesses. Oversee the program.
The Revenue Department manages a $ 10 million aid program that provides grants to nonprofits and small businesses. The Board will spend $ 5 million on efforts to strengthen the ranks of state nurses and other health care workers. Governor John Bel Edwards’ administration will split $ 50 million into state ports to make up for the revenue lost from the coronavirus outbreak and improve security measures.
The Governor’s Broadband Development and Connectivity Bureau is funded with $ 90 million in federal assistance to pay for projects aimed at expanding high-speed Internet throughout Louisiana, especially in rural areas with restricted access. Manage new grant programs.
The Edwards administration will spend $ 60 million to distribute grants to the local tourism agency to help promote Louisiana’s marketing and its sick tourism industry. An additional $ 18 million was sent to Lieutenant Billy Nangeser’s office to undertake a similar effort on a state-wide scale.
Some nonprofits have criticized lawmakers for their spending priorities and they should allocate some money to help those suffering from housing demand, food insecurity, childcare difficulties and other problems. I said it was.
“The problems exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have burdened Louisiana for generations, and the state’s unfortunate budget priority is almost what to help families who need it most. “No,” said Koreipati, executive director of Louisiana, a food bank co-feeding statement, issued by a group of organizations dissatisfied with the distribution.
Of the remaining federal aid, lawmakers spent $ 15 million on funding to improve the technology of the Louisiana Capitol, $ 30 million on hurricane restoration efforts in southwestern Louisiana, and $ 35 million on general state construction. We have sent $ 10 million to a fund to help pay the costs. Attract major sports and other expensive events to Louisiana.
The federal dollars allocated at the session ending Thursday represent more than half of Louisiana’s $ 3 billion direct block grant received from the Democratic Party’s parliamentary coronavirus support package earlier this year. Republican legislative leaders and Democratic governors have agreed to spend the rest of the cash later.
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Louisiana steers federal money to infrastructure upgrades – New Orleans CityBusiness Source link Louisiana steers federal money to infrastructure upgrades – New Orleans CityBusiness