Blanco seeks more money for flood control

Reported by the Associated Press

Governor Kathleen Blanco will meet with U-S House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Washington today. Blanco has met with leaders of the Senate and left her upbeat about getting more federal money for flood control in south Louisiana.

Blanco met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. She said later that the Nevada Democrat agreed to push a stalled water resources bill that authorizes hundreds of millions of dollars for Louisiana flood control and hurricane protection projects. Blanco said Reid appeared willing to look into a federal insurance mechanism to help states like Louisiana that face large-scale insurance policy cancellations after a major disaster.

Senator Mary Landrieu accompanied Blanco for her meetings with Reid. One proposal they discussed with Reid would be for Congress to waive a 10 percent matching requirement for federal emergency assistance. That's the requirement used for other emergencies such as New York after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Landrieu says the 10 percent match takes money away from a huge backlog of infrastructure projects in hurricane-ravaged Louisiana, and it adds to the paperwork requirements by delaying release of housing recovery funds in the federally financed but state-administered Road Home program.