WASHINGTON – The Senate has passed the State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act, co-sponsored by Sen. John Kennedy, R-La.

The bill would allow state governments to use unspent pandemic relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act’s (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund to provide relief for natural disaster victims and to invest in infrastructure needs.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, sponsored the legislation along with Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif.

“Louisianians have gone through historic hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters over the last 18 months, and they still need help rebuilding their homes and businesses,” Kennedy said.

“I’m thankful to have worked with Sens. Cornyn and Padilla to give Louisiana’s state officials the power to redirect unspent coronavirus money for disaster victims and/or infrastructure.

“I hope the House follows suit quickly by sending this bill to the president’s desk,” he said.

Louisiana’s state government received approximately $4.8 billion from the ARPA’s State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.

The fund was established to replace lost revenue for state and local governments in the wake of the pandemic and its economic shutdowns and to support pandemic response efforts.