Gov. Edwards talks about budget shortfall, using federal flood money on preventative projects

Gov. Edwards talks about using federal flood money on preventative projects

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards spoke Thursday about Louisiana's larger budget woes, with the administration now saying the state is facing a $600 million shortfall and he discussed how he wants to use some of the federal flood assistance.

"We are going to have to have some shared sacrifice if we're going to have shared prosperity," Edwards said. "And yeah, we can focus on the revenue. I would much rather be the governor of Louisiana here telling you we have too much revenue coming in and we're about to do huge tax cuts, but that's not the reality of the situation."

Last year, tax receipts were $300 million less than anticipated.

Added to that, Commissioner Jay Dardenne announced earlier this week the state could face a hole in the ballpark of $300 million this year.

Lawmakers are now tasked with finding cuts to balance out the budget.

The governor also spent part of his speech touching on flood recovery, saying he wants to use some federal money to help cover the costs on big preventative infrastructure projects.

"But we can't do that with the amount of CDBG we've received and so, we're going to be going back for help," Edwards explained.

Back in September, Congress gave the thumbs up to $438 million in community development block grants. They can be used for anything from home repairs to those big projects.

The US House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday with more than a billion dollars more. It awaits a vote in the Senate. Added together, that's still far short of the $4 billion the governor says the state needs.

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