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Governor wants to redirect unspent relief funds to Louisiana's unemployed, shuttered businesses

1 year 9 months 3 days ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 September 25, 2020 10:40 AM September 25, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Governor John Bel Edwards sent a request to lawmakers Friday asking them to reallocate $175 million in unused money from Louisiana's Main Street Recovery Program and put it toward other areas of coronavirus relief.

In a letter sent to Louisiana's Speaker of the House, Edwards proposed putting $75 million toward the state's unemployment trust fund, another $75 million to local governments most impacted by the pandemic and the remaining $25 million to businesses that were forced to close in phases 2 and 3, including bars.

Lawmakers would have to adopt the measure during the special legislative session beginning Sept. 28. The session is scheduled to end Oct. 27.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state had an unemployment trust fund balance over $1 billion, according to the governor. That balance is currently sitting around $49 million.

The governor also announced he's amended the Public Health Emergency order to suspend the solvency tax on employers, which is usually imposed when the state's unemployment trust fund drops to a particular threshold.

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