Lawmakers back $80M plan for economic development
State Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret has received legislative backing for his plan to use $80 million in federal hurricane recovery money to compete for business projects.
The Legislature's joint budget committee agreed Friday to the proposal, which requires Moret to get the budget committee's approval for each individual project before it can receive money.
The $80 million would come from flexible federal block grant aid given to the state after Gustav and Ike struck in 2008, so the dollars must be spent in hurricane damaged parishes. The plan needs
approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development before it is final.
Moret is seeking the money as other grant funds in his department shrink and the state faces budget shortfalls that threaten his department's ability to get new grant dollars.