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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.) 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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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.) announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded a total of $204,100 in rural development grants to Amite, Basile and Athens, Louisiana.

The USDA awarded a $49,600 grant to Amite to purchase police vehicles and police equipment.  Amite also received an $18,800 grant for a new maintenance truck.

Basile received a $47,000 grant to help purchase public safety equipment and maintenance equipment.  This grant will be used to acquire six bulletproof vests, six body cameras and four portable radios for law enforcement in Basile. Basile received another $49,700 grant to purchase two police patrol cars that are better equipped to navigate the town’s gravel roads.

The USDA awarded $39,000 to Athens to purchase a police vehicle and improve public safety services in the town.

“Public safety is a priority for families and community leaders in every city and town across the nation,” said Sen. Kennedy. “The law enforcement in every community needs access to the proper resources to keep residents and their properties safe.  These grants will provide the resources necessary to improve and update public safety equipment in several of Louisiana’s rural communities.”

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement today on the death of former Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco:

“Becky and I are deeply saddened by Gov. Blanco’s passing and extend our condolences to Coach and their children as well as to Kathleen’s mother.  Kathleen was a dedicated public servant and a loving mother, daughter and wife.  She led a remarkable life but wasn’t immune to tragedy.  She handled those tragedies with tremendous courage and unwavering faith.  True faith makes you fearless, and that faith was Kathleen’s solace and strength.  Louisiana has suffered a tremendous loss with her passing.”

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today thanked Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler for granting 31 exemptions that will protect Louisiana’s small refineries from financial devastation. 

At issue are hardship waivers – called Small Refinery Exemptions – that give small refineries in Louisiana the ability to remain competitive against larger companies and further President Donald Trump’s initiative for the U.S. to be energy independent.  The waivers free refineries from biofuel blending requirements that are unaffordable.

“These exemptions are necessary to keep small refineries in business and protect tens of thousands of jobs across the U.S.,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Louisiana can only help this country achieve energy independence if our refineries are allowed to thrive.  These exemptions are a huge win, not just for the industry, but for workers and families across Louisiana.” 

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today 31 Health and Human Services grants totaling $5.1 million for communities across Louisiana.

These grants will help fund Louisiana health centers that provide integrated behavioral health services such as prevention or treatment for mental health conditions and opioid addictions.

“Mental health is a growing concern across the country.  It affects the young and old, rich and poor, and if left untreated, it can ruin lives and devastate families,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “These grants will equip health centers across Louisiana to provide life-saving mental health services.”

 

Organization Name

City

Amount Of Award

New Orleans Health Department

New Orleans

$167,000

Excelth Inc.

New Orleans

$167,000

Rapides Primary Health Care Center, Inc.

Alexandria

$167,000

Southeast Community Health Systems

Greensburg

$167,000

Capitol City Family Health Center, Inc., Dba Care South

Baton Rouge

$167,000

Out-Patient Medical Center

Natchitoches

$167,000

St. Gabriel Health Clinic, Inc.

Saint Gabriel

$167,000

SWLA Center For Health Services

Lake Charles

$167,000

Southwest Louisiana Primary Health Care Ctr, Inc.

Opelousas

$167,000

David Raines Community Health Center, Inc.

Shreveport

$167,000

Primary Health Services Center

Monroe

$167,000

Teche Action Board Inc.

Franklin

$167,000

Innis Community Health Center, Inc.

Innis

$167,000

Access Health Louisiana

Luling

$167,000

Tensas Community Health Center, Inc.

Saint Joseph

$167,000

Primary Care Providers For A Healthy Feliciana

Clinton

$167,000

Jefferson Community Health Care Centers, Inc.

Avondale

$167,000

Morehouse Community Medical Centers, Inc

Bastrop

$167,000

Winn Community Health Center, Inc

Winnfield

$167,000

St. Thomas Community Health Center, Inc.

New Orleans

$167,000

Hospital Service District No. 1-A Of The Parish Of Richland

Delhi

$167,000

Marillac Community Health Centers

New Orleans

$167,000

CASSE Dental Health Institute

Mansfield

$167,000

Common Ground Health Clinic

New Orleans

$154,830

MQVN Community Development Corp

New Orleans

$167,000

New Orleans Aids Task Force

New Orleans

$167,000

Odyssey House Louisiana, Inc.

New Orleans

$167,000

HIV/AIDS Alliance For Region Two Inc

Baton Rouge

$167,000

Priority Health Care

Marrero

$167,000

Start Corporation

Houma

$167,000

Iberia Comprehensive Community Health Center

New Iberia

$167,000

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is finalizing the delivery of $1.2 billion in disaster mitigation funding to Louisiana.  Congress originally appropriated this funding in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

“The people of Louisiana are no strangers to disasters, and this funding will help mitigate the destruction that disasters can cause,” said Sen. Kennedy. “I hope that HUD will work swiftly to allow our state to use this money on important disaster mitigation projects that will help protect our homes, families and businesses from future storms.” 

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Cory Booker’s (D-N.J.) bill, the Rebuilding Small Businesses After Disasters Act.  This legislation would help ensure families continue to have access to certain Small Business Administration (SBA) loans soon after a disaster. 

This legislation would prevent specific SBA disaster loans from decreasing from $25,000 to $14,000.  In 2015, a provision in the Recovery Improvements for Small Entities After Disaster Act temporarily increased loan limits for physical disaster loans.  This legislation will extend the provision for another three years.

“Disasters like Hurricane Katrina leave properties in ruin,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Extending this provision will provide families with the resources they need to rebuild their businesses and their homes immediately after a disaster.  It puts the appropriate financial resources into the pockets of our homeowners and business owners.”

“Even though nearly a decade has passed since Superstorm Sandy ravaged New Jersey and much of the East Coast, New Jersey families and communities remember all too well the massive devastation it caused,” said Sen. Booker.  “This bipartisan bill ensures that disaster victims in New Jersey and across the country will continue to have access to the assistance they need as they rebuild their homes, small businesses and local economies.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) filed the Jurists United to Stop Trafficking Imitation Child Exploitation Act of 2019 (the JUSTICE Act of 2019) Thursday to prohibit the importation of child sex dolls that appeal to sexual predators. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) is filing a companion bill in the House.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry worked with Sen. Kennedy on the legislation after receiving reports of law enforcement officials finding the dolls during their investigations involving the sexual abuse of children.  Some dolls can be programmed to mimic the reactions of rape victims, allowing predators to practice sick behavior.  Last year, Amazon discovered the dolls for sale by third party vendors on its website.

Under the JUSTICE Act of 2019, violators will face up to five years in prison for a first offense.  Repeat offenders could be imprisoned for up to 10 years.

“As sick as it is, these anatomically correct dolls are made to look like young children.  They’re disgusting.  They are clearly a training kit for pedophiles,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “The United Kingdom has banned the importation of these dolls, but the United States currently has no law prohibiting them.  We need to act swiftly to ban them.”

“I want to applaud Senator Kennedy for introducing this important, common-sense legislation,” said Rep. Duncan.  “The JUSTICE Act will provide an important tool for law enforcement as they crack down on sex traffickers. I look forward to working with Senator Kennedy, my friend Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, and hopefully House Democrats as we push this common-sense bill through to the President’s desk.”

 

“Protecting children is critical to a successful society. As someone on the front lines in the battle against child predators, I appreciate this legislation and know it will help make our communities safer. I hope Congress swiftly passes this much-needed public safety measure by Senator Kennedy and Representative Duncan,” said Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.

 

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