The ad agency representing Louisiana's "Road Home" program has asked television stations across the state to immediately stop airing commercials that tout the successes of the program. On Monday, the agency sent e-mails to television stations in the Baton Rouge market, saying the ads would stop running May 21st "due to the bad publicity of the Road Home program." Jackie Engret of The Peter A. Mayer Agency says they were contacted Tuesday and asked that the ads be pulled immediately.
Tuesday morning, a state House panel decided the program should not promote itself on TV, while it's unclear if it will even have enough money to cover the costs of homeowner aid.
The committee approved legislation that would require Road Home promotional advertising to end and would require the state Legislative Auditor's Office to put a number on the shortfall projected for the program by June 1st. The measure goes next to the full House for debate.
Lawmakers on the House Appropriations Committee also said they want a full accounting of how large the shortfall in the Road Home program may be after hearing estimates ranging from one to more than $3 billion.
More than 133,000 people have applied for aid through the Road Home; 15,000 people have received grants. The program gives grants up to $150,000 to homeowners who had severe damage from hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.