How will federal relief money will be divided in Louisiana?

Louisiana State Capitol building in Baton Rouge
Louisiana State Capitol building in Baton Rouge

Published: May 25, 2021

By: Ryan Nelsen | LSU Manship School News Service

BATON ROUGE, La. (LSU Manship School News Wire) – Louisiana is one step closer to using the federal money it is receiving from the American Rescue Plan after a bill by legislative leaders passed the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday.

The American Rescue Plan is a $1.88 trillion federal aid package, which gives each state a minimum of $500 million to offset the economic downfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Louisiana will receive $5.18 billion in direct aid to state and local governments.

“We’ve tried to make the highest and best use of the dollars that are available to us, balancing these different pots of money,” Jay Dardenne, the commissioner of administration, told the committee.

House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzalez, wrote the bill, HB642, along with Rep. Jerome Zeringue, R-Houma, and Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette. The bill also will help improve infrastructure.

The bill received unanimous approval from the House Chamber and will now head to the Senate floor. It divides up the money and sets rules along these lines:

Louisiana Loggers Relief Fund – $10 million

Under the bill, timber harvesting and hauling businesses can apply for grants up to $25,000 if they meet the criteria for the Louisiana Main Street Recovery fund.

In June 2020, the Legislature created the fund to disperse $275 million in relief for small businesses. The program gave grants of up to $15,000 to more than 20,000 businesses across the state.

The grants are only awarded to companies with less than 50 employees that were in Louisiana as of March 1, 2020. The businesses must have experienced a gross revenue loss of 10% or greater in 2020 compared to 2019.

Read more at KALB

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