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Louisiana Unable to Pay First Responders

by Kevin Caruso

October 5, 2005

Louisiana has a $1 billion deficit and is running out of money to pay police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. So the state has asked the Bush Administration for help.

The White House has responded by requesting Congress to pass a measure to amend the Stafford Act, which precludes federal funds from being used to pay the for the base salaries of local government employees. (The current act only allows federal funds to be used for overtime pay.)

Rep Charlie Melancon (D-Louisiana) is happy with the development. “I'm glad to see that the president understands that and is making an effort to keep these parishes from collapsing completely. I hope Congress will follow suit,” Melancon said.


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