Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why Is Jindal Taking Our Money?

I just read two news reports that share an interesting common thread. The first story involves the dissolution of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, formed after Katrina to guide the state in its expenditure of federal recovery dollars:
HB1173 would have required legislative approval of proposals and contracts for the use of more than $50,000 in recovery dollars while HB1175 would have allowed parishes to seek alternative uses for allocated recovery funds. Under opposition from the Jindal administration, neither bill won final passage.[Louisiana New Link].

With the dissolution of the LRA, the Jindal administration essentially is allowed to write a blank check on the remaining funds"[]
The second story is about how Jindal wants to hold on to the money the state has gotten from BP and prefers that the affected coastal parishes go obtain any money BP owes them on their own.:

Gov. Bobby Jindal unleashed his veto pen late Friday, nixing lawmakers’ attempt to direct $24.9 million to parishes and small towns affected by the oil leak...In his veto message, Jindal said BP should pay the municipalities directly for the impact of the April 20 rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

Left unnoted in Jindal’s veto message was the fact that the money legislators wanted to give to the municipalities comes from a fund fattened by a grant from BP. The Jindal administration wants state agencies to have use of the money. “If it’s acceptable use for state government, then why isn’t acceptable for local governments?” said state Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin, who co-sponsored the amendment that would have diverted much of the BP money in the state’s Oil Spill Contingency Fund to help 11 coastal parishes and the towns of Lafitte and Grand Isle. []