Baton Rouge: Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards will travel to Washington, D.C. to lobby for additional flood relief for Louisiana. The state remains $2 billion short of the additional request to provide flood relief to more citizens impacted by the floods in March and August of 2016. To date, Congress has appropriated $1.6 billion in flood relief. Gov. Edwards’ travel expenses are not being paid for by taxpayers.
"Once again our state has faced another round of severe weather that has destroyed homes and communities, but we will rebuild,” said Gov. Edwards. “The recent tornadoes throughout South Louisiana have only added to the ongoing hardships our people are suffering from following the March and August floods. Now more than ever we need Congress to make the relief dollars available to help Louisiana so that the rebuilding process can continue. I will make this case to our congressional leaders this week, and I look forward to working with them as we continue to rebuild and help the people of Louisiana."
This morning, Gov. Edwards participated in a briefing with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regarding the severe weather that struck Louisiana on Tuesday. As of today, FEMA teams are on the ground in Louisiana and will begin their preliminary assessments of the storm damage. Gov. Edwards also spoke with the White House to discuss the destruction caused by the seven tornadoes that touched down in South Louisiana.
On Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Edwards will meet with the entire Louisiana Congressional Delegation to discuss the state’s outstanding request for $2 billion in flood recovery. Last week, he sent a letter to the delegation and President Donald Trump outlining how the additional funds would be spent. Gov. Edwards also asked the delegation for assistance in making changes to federal disaster recovery laws and regulations that currently delay the process for getting help to the people who need it most.
On Thursday, Gov. Edwards will speak to the Committee of 100 to outline tax reform proposals for the upcoming regular session of the Louisiana legislature. The Committee of 100 is a private non-profit organization serving as Louisiana's Business Roundtable made up of the top CEOs of leading private and public companies in Louisiana and University presidents of Louisiana’s institutions of higher learning. Last month, the Task Force on Structural Changes in Budget and Tax Policy released their recommendations to the governor. Those recommendations are available here.
Later in the morning, Gov. Edwards will meet staff with House Democratic leadership to discuss the state’s outstanding flood recovery request. He will also meet with U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies to discuss the state’s request for additional assistance.
In the afternoon, Gov. Edwards will meet with incoming senior staff of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to update the agency on our flood recovery. Gov. Edwards will also meet with U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee staff.
Meetings with various other cabinet-level officials are pending, including a meeting with the Department of Transportation Secretary Elana Chao.
On Friday, Gov. Edwards will deliver remarks at the Washington Mardi Gras Louisiana Economic Development Luncheon to discuss flood recovery and the state’s efforts to bring business to Louisiana.
In Fall 2016, Gov. Edwards made five trips to Washington, D.C. to lobby for flood relief with the Louisiana Congressional Delegation. Those meetings resulted in two separate appropriations for disaster funding.