BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards is asking Congress to tweak federal law governing disaster loans as part of the Hurricane Harvey aid legislation being rushed to passage.
The governor sent a letter Wednesday to U.S. House and Senate leaders seeking an adjustment to language governing Small Business Administration disaster loans that Edwards says harmed victims of Louisiana’s 2016 flooding and can harm Harvey survivors.
Under federal rules, those who were approved for SBA loans, whether they used the loans or not, can’t receive additional federal aid such as through the state’s federally financed homeowner grant program if it is deemed a “duplication of benefits.”
Edwards says flood victims were encouraged to apply for the disaster loans at FEMA’s urging and didn’t realize it could harm their ability to receive grant aid.