- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 11, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Latest on Sen. Kennedy’s push for a ban on public officials getting federal disaster contracts (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

Gov. John Bel Edwards says U.S. Sen. John Kennedy’s call to ban public officials and their family members from receiving flood recovery rebuilding contracts is already in law.

Richard Carbo, a spokesman for the Democratic governor, says if Kennedy wants to go further than what’s currently on the books, Edwards would support the effort. But Carbo says such prohibitions would require legislative action.

Kennedy, a Republican who took office this month, sent a letter Wednesday to Edwards urging him to issue an executive order including the prohibition.

Louisiana already has a ban keeping statewide elected officials, lawmakers, the governor’s top appointed officials, their spouses and companies in which they have interest of more than 5 percent from getting most disaster recovery contracts.

That’s not as extensive as what Kennedy proposes.

___

11:20 a.m.

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy is calling on Gov. John Bel Edwards to ban public officials and their family members from receiving flood recovery rebuilding contracts financed with federal disaster aid.

Kennedy, a Republican who took office this month, released his letter sent to the Democratic governor Wednesday, urging Edwards to issue an executive order with the ban.

Edwards is proposing that $1.3 billion of the $1.6 billion in disaster recovery block grant aid allocated to Louisiana by Congress for the March and August flooding be spent on homeowner rehabilitation and rebuilding.

Kennedy says politicians and their families shouldn’t “profit from Louisianians’ tragedy.” He says the ban he proposes would prove that Louisiana is being a good steward of the federal dollars as the state seeks additional disaster aid from Congress.


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