Aug 19, 2010 4:02 PM by Melissa Canone
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - About 61 percent of the $822 million in
federal funds borrowed by storm-wrecked communities after
hurricanes Katrina and Rita won't have to be repaid. But that
leaves more than $296 million owed to the federal government.
Financially struggling sheriffs, school boards, parish councils
and other local government agencies received federal disaster loans
to help cover the costs of regular operations after the storms
wiped out much of their income.
Congress agreed to "forgive" the loans if agencies met certain
criteria involving operating deficits and revenue losses.
The State Bond Commission received a report Thursday on which
agencies won't have to repay the loan money. About $501 million has
The state is haggling with federal officials over the rest,
arguing that more of the borrowing shouldn't have to be reoiid.