Louisiana to get $2B in federal virus aid, but with strings

in Baton Rouge Round Up

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana expects to receive at least $2 billion in coronavirus aid from the latest relief package passed by Congress, but state officials don’t yet know what strings are attached and how much of the cash could help patch budget holes next year.

“It’s a big mystery right now, how those dollars can be spent,” said Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, the governor’s chief budget adviser.

Data collected by the Legislative Fiscal Office, the Board of Regents and others analyzing the congressional legislation estimate Louisiana’s in line for nearly $1.2 billion for K-12 schools, $308 million for rental assistance, $310 million for the health department and $277 million for higher education. Gov. John Bel Edwards also will have $23 million in discretionary dollars for education.

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