Gov. Edwards prioritizes infrastructure, shoring up unemployment trust fund with American Rescue Plan funds


BATON ROUGE, La (KLFY) — Gov. Edwards held a press conference today outlining his recommendations for the American Rescue Plan funding that Louisiana should receive in May.

The first amount coming to Louisiana through President Biden’s ARP is $1.6 billion. The purpose of the funds is to help restore the state after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state is awaiting final federal guidance on spending the ARP funds, but the $1.6 billion represents the first amount of funding Louisiana will receive, with additional funding being used to address long-term priorities in the future.

“At our COVID-19 bottom, Louisiana’s economy was generating about 86 percent of our pre-virus economic output,” Gov. Edwards said. “Today, we’re back to more than 94 percent of pre-COVID levels, and growing,”

“There is no doubt that Louisiana is on the mend, but we still need some help in order to make a full recovery. By investing these American Rescue Plan dollars wisely, we can shore up our unemployment insurance trust fund and avoid businesses paying higher taxes, continue to chip away at Louisiana’s backlog of infrastructure projects, support our tourism industry and improve our aging water infrastructure,” Gov. Edwards said.

“I am deeply grateful to President Biden for his commitment to helping Louisiana kickstart its economy again after the crushing blow dealt to our country by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gov. Edwards said.

Governor Edwards’ priorities for the first $1.6 billion in funding are:

  • Shoring up the Unemployment Trust Fund – $400 million
  • Unemployment Insurance loan payment – $230 million
  • Infrastructure – $400 million
  • Water and Sewer Systems – $300 million
  • Tourism and Convention and Visitors Bureaus – $125 million
  • Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism – $20 million
  • Louisiana Ports – $50 million

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