Gov. Edwards calls on Louisiana's congressional delegation to op - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Gov. Edwards calls on Louisiana's congressional delegation to oppose Trump's budget proposal

Source: Gov. John Bel Edwards' website Source: Gov. John Bel Edwards' website
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has called on Louisiana’s congressional delegation to oppose President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins on October 1, 2017. 

This announcement was made the day before Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to visit Baton Rouge to meeting with "small businesses and job creators in the community." 

RELATED: VP Pence to visit BR Wednesday to meet with local businesses

Gov. Edwards released the following statement. 

The president’s first budget, unfortunately, turns a blind eye to the needs of the state of Louisiana. Across our state, thousands of working poor people receive lifesaving health care treatment thanks to Medicaid expansion, and we are saving Louisiana taxpayers a significant amount of money in the process. The president’s budget proposal would rip this health coverage from the hands of the people who need it most, and states like Louisiana would be left with very few options. Further, the proposed budget will harm our seniors and people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid for critical care and help with daily living. Balancing the federal budget is important, but it can’t be done on the backs of the very people the president pledged to protect.

Notably, this budget robs Louisiana of financial resources promised to us for coastal restoration. In recent years, Louisiana and waters just off its shore have been the second largest producer of crude oil and natural gas in the nation. Republican and Democratic leaders from Louisiana have fought to secure dedicated funding to offset the effects of oil and gas leasing and production along our coast. Permanent sharing of federal revenues is critical to ensure Louisiana’s coast remains fully operational, protects vital national infrastructure and provides the necessary barriers to protect our working coast and citizens. 

This proposal would set us back decades. The resources which must travel through the infrastructure networks in Louisiana require an ongoing federal funding commitment. Ignoring the significance of Louisiana’s coast, its assets and its impact to this country is short sighted. The nation depends on the energy resources found off the coast of our state, but this budget doesn’t reflect that. I will continue to advocate for Louisiana’s priorities to President Trump, and I am asking the Louisiana congressional delegation and our neighboring Gulf Producing States to adopt a responsible budget that doesn’t unnecessarily harm the state of Louisiana.”

In a press release, Gov. Edwards noted that the current proposal would have a "negative impact on our state economy in the form of economic losses to healthcare providers and industries that rely on the vitality of our coast."

"Under Louisiana’s Medicaid expansion, more than 428,000 working poor have received lifesaving health coverage and the state is estimated to save more than $300 million in the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2017."

Gov. Edwards noted the following statistics since expanding the Medicaid program:

  • 428,581 patients have enrolled in the program
  • 91,690 having receiving preventive care treatments
  • 6,481 patients receiving breast cancer screenings
  • 104 diagnosed with breast cancer
  • 9,418 colon cancer screenings
  • 84 adults diagnosed with colon cancer
  • 22,823 adults receiving outpatient mental health treatment

The release also notes that the proposed budget would eliminate GOMESA payments within the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas (Gulf Producing States, or GPS).

"Louisiana is in line to receive between $145 and $176 million annually in revenue sharing payments that have already been dedicated to the protection and restoration of our coast," states the press release. "GOMESA funding in Louisiana is already appropriated in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget toward critical projects that address coastal restoration and hurricane protection but are not eligible for funding under the settlement agreement from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill." 

    More statistics from Medicaid expansion in Louisiana are available by clicking here.

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