Dispute erupts over virus aid for Louisiana local government

Edwards

By MELINDA DESLATTE

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards’ plan for steering more than $800 million in congressional aid to local government agencies struggling with the coronavirus is running into roadblocks with House Republicans. GOP lawmakers on the House budget committee proposed their own approach Thursday for using the dollars and sent that to the full House for debate. Republican lawmakers raised objections that the Democratic governor charted plans to spend federal virus aid without engaging the House and Senate. The legislative plan would carve out $200 million for small business grants and leave $600 million for local government expenses related to the coronavirus. The disbursement would flow through a different program than Edwards planned.