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Edwards outlines

Edwards outlines proposal to spend $1.6B at national aid

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards on Thursday offered his list of proposals for spending $1.6 billion in new federal coronavirus aid heading to Louisiana, prioritizing the unemployment trust fund and infrastructure projects. The Democratic governor already had broadly outlined his priorities for the money, but without detailing the specific amounts he’d…

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards on Thursday offered his record of suggestions for spending $1.6 billion in new federal coronavirus aid heading into Louisiana, prioritizing the unemployment trust fund and infrastructure projects.

The Democratic Senate already had widely outlined his priorities for the money, but without detailing the particular amounts he would like steered to every category. Lawmakers meeting in a two-month routine session will decide whether they support his recommendations or take an entirely different strategy.

Edwards would like to earmark $630 million to address the nation’s bankrupt unemployment trust fund, $400 million to refill the finance and $230 million to repay federal loans used to cover jobless benefits when the fund ran out of money.

On infrastructure, he’s proposing $400 million for bridge and road function, $50 million for ports and $300 million for sewage and water projects.

Edwards would prefer the remaining dollars delivered to tourism marketing efforts: $125 for local convention and visitor bureaus and $20 million into the state Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

The spending recommendations introduced by the Senate would pay the first half of their $3.2 billion Louisiana state government is anticipated to get in the $1.9 trillion aid package passed by Democrats from Congress earlier this season.

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