La. lawmakers raid emergency fund for budget

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - To patch holes, fill deficits and pay for pet projects, Louisiana's lawmakers raided a more than $140 million state emergency response fund. They depleted nearly all its cash in the heart of a hurricane season that is anticipated to be a busy one.

Gov. Bobby Jindal backed the move, and his administration says other dollars are available to immediately cope with a storm if one comes.

But others question the wisdom of draining the emergency fund in a state that has been slammed with four hurricanes in the last five years and that is currently battling its worst ever environmental catastrophe in the Gulf oil spill.

Only a few million dollars remain in the fund after the recently ended legislative session.

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