Infrastructure, unemployment, tourism? Louisiana mulls how to spend $1.6B in federal cash
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Infrastructure, unemployment, tourism? Louisiana mulls how to spend $1.6B in federal cash

Gov. John Bel Edwards on Thursday made public his plan for spending nearly $1.6 billion in federal coronavirus aid in a proposal that pumps hundreds of millions of dollars into widening interstates, propping up the tourism industry, modernizing municipal sewer and water systems and shoring up the fund that pays out unemployment benefits.

It’s the opening bid in what will soon become a fierce debate between Edwards, a Democrat, and the GOP-dominated State Legislature on how to divvy up the first tranche of a $3.2 billion windfall made available by the American Rescue Plan passed by Congressional Democrats in March.

On the heels of a global recession that devastated Louisiana’s economy, the federal funds offer what state officials say is “once in a lifetime” opportunity to make lasting investments in the state’s future. Behind closed doors, the…

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