Sunday, June 29, 2008

Should Louisiana Have to Pony Up?

From the AP:
Thursday night, Congress approved a $162 billion war spending bill that included $5.8 billion for flood protection in the New Orleans region. But the funding for Army Corps of Engineers construction projects would be triggered only if the state agrees to a $1.8 billion match.

Louisiana would have to come up with $1.1 billion of its share in 2010, when the corps' heaviest work load is expected, said Garret Graves, Jindal's director for coastal affairs.

Jindal and other state officials had urged Congress to give Louisiana 30 years to pay its share, but Congress was under pressure from President Bush to keep domestic spending under control in the war bill.

This brings up a good question, "How much of the costs should Louisiana have to cover and in what time frame?" This article states that Louisiana, while generally a poor state, has been running a $6o0 million budget surplus. Is it unreasonable for the state to cover the $1.8 billion match? I don't have a definite answer, but I do think that the state should cover its fair share - what-ever that is. There must be funding mechanisms available to cover these types of costs.

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