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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today announced $2.6 million in Health and Human Services grants for community health centers in New Orleans, Port Sulphur, Franklin and Winnfield.

The grants for $650,000 each were awarded to Baptist Community Health Services, Plaquemines Parish Hospital Service District Number One, Teche Action Clinic and the Winn Community Health Center.

“Our community health care centers are the backbone of our underserved communities in Louisiana.  These grants will support the centers in their work to provide vital medical services to families across the state,” said Sen. Kennedy.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the city of New Orleans will receive $41.6 million from FEMA to ensure better waste water management during bad weather.  The grant completes $150 million in funding for the project.

“The biggest threat to any water system is a loss of power during extreme weather,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “This grant is the final piece of funding needed to ensure the drainage, water and sewerage systems in New Orleans and parts of Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes have an adequate, independent power source.”  

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WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) introduced the SFC Richard Stayskal Military Medical Accountability Act of 2019 today to allow active duty service members to sue the military for medical malpractice and negligence.

A Supreme Court decision in 1950 banned active duty service members from suing the military for medical malpractice or negligence, and this decision became known as the Feres Doctrine. This legislation will help overturn that decision.

Sgt. Richard Stayskal is the primary champion of this legislation.  In two separate appointments, Army doctors detected a cancerous tumor growing in Sgt. Stayskal’s lungs, but they did not initiate the proper treatment or make him aware of the tumor’s existence.  Under the Feres Doctrine, he cannot sue the military hospital that failed to inform him of his condition for medical malpractice.

 “We owe service men and women our utmost respect and the best care when they come home.  When medical malpractice or negligence occurs, patients have the right to sue their doctor, but the Feres Doctrine has stripped that right from members of the military.  This is an awful precedent, and I’m very grateful to Sgt. Richard Stayskal for bringing this issue to light,” said Sen. Kennedy. “This legislation will help to overturn this backwards precedent that hurts service members and their families.”

“For decades, the so-called Feres doctrine has denied our servicemembers their day in court when they are the victims of medical malpractice. It is slap in the face to the men and women who serve our country,” said Sen. Hirono. “The SFC Richard Stayskal Military Medical Accountability Act of 2019 will finally remove this stain on our country’s treatment of those in uniform. I am proud to introduce this important legislation with Senator Kennedy, and I call on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this long-overdue bill.”

“Thank you Senator Kennedy for introducing the SFC Stayskal Military Medical Accountability Act,” said Sgt. Stayskal. “May your leadership inspire other members of Congress to support this important legislation.  Sponsoring this Bill proves your support of our Troops and their families.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Bill Cassidy M.D. (R-La.) today announced that the National Science Foundation awarded a new Regional Class Research Vessel to the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) and the University of Southern Mississippi.  The boat, along with two others, will be built by Louisiana workers.

The vessel will be designed with state-of-the-art technology that will allow researchers to create detailed seafloor maps, monitor algae blooms, study shifting ocean chemistry, observe coastal changes and much more.

The National Science Foundation awarded three research vessels to coastal universities and research consortiums to study the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts.  The other two vessels were awarded to Oregon State University and a research consortium led by the University of Rhode Island.  All three vessels will be built in Louisiana by the Gulf Island Shipyards LLC in Houma.  They are scheduled to be completed in 2023.

Since the vessel will likely be too large to dock at LUMCON’s current facilities, LUMCON is planning to construct a new port in Houma.

As members of the research consortium, Louisiana State University and Tulane University will also be able to utilize the vessel.

“With the new technology available on this research vessel, scientists and researchers will have access to new data to help tackle the coastal issues we’re facing in Louisiana,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “The folks at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium are an excellent choice for this award, and this vessel is a great investment into protecting our coastline.”  

“Building these boats employs Louisiana skilled workers,” said Sen. Cassidy.  “Once built, data from these boats will protect coastlines and coastal ecosystems. This benefits all Americans.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The office of U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) will host three Service Academy days this month for students interested in learning more about the U.S. Service Academies.  The events will be in Monroe, Lafayette and New Orleans.

Representatives from West Point, the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, the Merchant Marine Academy, the Coast Guard Academy and local ROTC programs will be present.  This is an opportunity for students to discuss opportunities available at the academies, free college educations and commissioned officer slots.

“Our Service Academies train and educate some of the bravest men and women in this country,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “I have great respect for the students who decide to serve their country and dedicate themselves to learning at one of the academies.”

This event is free and geared towards high school students, parents and active duty members who are interested in learning more about the academies.

Service Academy Days:

Sept. 7, 2019

9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Cypress Room, Bayou Pointe Event Center

University of Louisiana at Monroe

1 Warhawk Way

Monroe, LA 71209

(Staff for Sen. Cassidy (R-La.), Rep. Abraham (R-La.) and Rep. Johnson (R-La.) will also be at this event.)

 

Sept. 21, 2019  

9 a.m.-12 p.m.

LITE Center

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

537 Cajundome Blvd.

Lafayette, LA 70506

(Staff for Sen. Cassidy (R-La.), Rep. Abraham (R-La.), Rep. Graves (R-La.), Rep. Higgins (R-La.) and Rep. Johnson (R-La.) will also be at this event.)

 

Sept. 28, 2019

9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Mary and William McCaffery Ballroom, University Center

Xavier University of Louisiana

1 Drexel Dr.

New Orleans, LA 70215

(Staff for Sen. Cassidy (R-La.), Rep. Graves (R-La.), Rep. Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Richmond (D-La.) will also be at this event.)

 

If you are interested in attending a service academy day, please RSVP to dana_brignac@kennedy.senate.gov.

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today an $11.7 million Health and Human Services grant to help combat the opioid crisis in Louisiana.

This funding will help states and local governments track opioid data and support their work in preventing overdoses and saving lives.

“Louisiana lost more people to opioid deaths than to car accidents last year,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “The opioid crisis is ruining lives and hurting families.  This grant will help Louisiana officials track overdose data and then use that data to help save lives.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) and the nation’s drug czar, Jim Carroll, attended the ground breaking Wednesday for the anchor facility of the Safe Haven campus in Mandeville.  Located on the grounds of the former Southeast Louisiana Hospital, Safe Haven will be a 24-bed facility offering comprehensive behavioral health treatment.

“It’s no secret that we have a drug problem in this country that is destroying families.  All too often, mental illness is at the root of an addiction,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Drug Czar Carroll is committed to helping us resolve this problem as a nation.  Safe Haven is a candle of hope in the battle against mental illness and addiction.  This is a fight that we have to win.”

“While the addiction crisis continues to take too many lives, we are making progress in getting more help to those who need it.  Today was an incredibly special day because it means more family members, friends, and neighbors right here in Louisiana will have the opportunity to get their lives back,” said Drug Czar Carroll.  “By working with true leaders like Senator Kennedy, and those on the frontlines of this fight, the Trump Administration will continue to be relentless in our efforts to save lives.”

“This is a remarkable day for St. Tammany, and our entire region.  Safe Haven is a unique investment in our future because our elected officials, health care providers, first responders, nonprofit organizations and countless other agencies are working collaboratively to make this vision a reality.  We are combining resources so every agency can focus on their field of expertise to provide healing to those who need it,” said St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement today in response to President Trump’s approval of Louisiana’s disaster declaration to release federal assistance for Hurricane Barry recovery.

Hurricane Barry didn’t wallop us like we expected, but it still caused significant property damage,” said Sen. Kennedy. “The president’s disaster declaration will help us recover and rebuild.”

This disaster declaration will make federal funding available to the parishes of Allen, Iberia, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. Mary, Terrebonne and Vermilion for all categories of public assistance.

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today an $8.3 million Army grant to fund dredging on waterways in south Louisiana.

The work will be performed on the New Orleans Harbor Reach of the Mississippi River, bays along the Gulf Intracostal Waterway, Bayou Lafourche, Houma Navigation Canal and Barataria Bar Channel.

“Historic rainfall throughout the country has resulted in massive loads of silt and soil being washed down the Mississippi River to south Louisiana,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “This grant will fund dredging to help keep our waterways clear for commerce and transportation.”

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement regarding the White House’s decision to require non-exempt refineries to increase their ethanol usage in order to reallocate unused ethanol from refineries that were granted small refinery exemptions. This requirement would take effect in 2021.

“I am thankful to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler for helping Louisiana’s small refineries by granting exemptions that keep them competitive and further America’s energy independence initiative.  However, we shouldn’t weaponize these exemptions and punish larger refineries,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “The decision to reallocate unused ethanol puts a huge burden on larger refineries and threatens Louisiana jobs.  It also undermines America’s quest for energy independence, and I predict it will further undermine the legitimacy of the ethanol program.  This is a punitive policy move.”

 

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