NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


November 8, 2005

Louisiana officials are asking for $2 billion from the federal government to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. But some are wondering why since the state has failed to reign in its own spending and realign its priorities.

Despite a predicted budget deficit and 250,000 people out of work, Louisiana is planning to spend $45 million on various projects, including:

  • An equestrian center to be used for horse shows, rodeos, crawfish festivals and lawn-mower races, among other activities.
  • An Audubon Institute building, an arboretum and a performing-arts center.
  • Reservoirs, sewer systems, a hospital and an airport.

Louisiana state Sen. David Vitter (R) notes that "the bond commission is spending money on new projects that weren't going to be funded and have no relation to hurricane recovery..."

Gov. Blanco's office has already said that state will not have the $3.7 billion required to match more than $41 billion in federal funds for hurricane recovery. On Saturday, Blanco announced cuts of $431 million from the state's $18.7 billion budget. "State government must work leaner but smarter than ever before," she said.

Source: Audrey Hudson, "Louisiana Cash Goes to the Dogs, Cows and Goats," Washington Times, November 7, 2005.


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