Wallis Watkins is a Baton Rouge native. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy from Louisiana State University in 2013. Soon after, she joined WRKF as an intern and is now reporting on politics for Capitol Access and science and health for Louisiana's Lab.
It’s been nearly six months since the historic flooding in southeast Louisiana. Since then, Congress has authorized $1.6 billion for the state to help people repair homes and businesses. But that’s well short of the estimated $8 billion in damage done. Wallis Watkins spoke with some flood survivors trying to navigate the recovery process.
Governor John Bel Edwards has released his plan for cutting $304 million from this fiscal year’s budget.
The Governor has called for $119 million of that deficit to be filled with money from the Rainy Day Fund. Addressing the Louisiana Municipal Association Tuesday, he explained that money is there to help stabilize the budget.
The federal government has already allocated $1.6 billion to Louisiana to aid in recovery from the August flood. Today, the Restore Louisiana Task Force approved the Governor’s plan on how to spend it.
A large majority of the federal recovery money -- $1.3 billion -- will be spent on home repairs.
The focus is on over 36-thousand homes that took on major damage and were not covered by flood insurance.
Over a third of the public schools in Livingston Parish were damaged by the flooding in Southeast Louisiana last August. While some of those schools have been repaired, others still haven't been able to reopen - like Southside Junior High School, where classes began this new year at a new site - for now.