Delta Regional Authority cut under President Trump's proposed budget

Courtesy: KNOE
Courtesy: KNOE(KNOE)
Published: Mar. 17, 2017 at 12:17 AM CDT
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Under President Trump's proposed federal budget for 2018, agencies including the Delta Regional Authority are eliminated. The $45 million the agency gets in federal funding would be gone.

Louisiana Senator Francis Thompson says slashing the program would be a huge mistake.

"If they take these opportunities away in the form of budget cuts, it would be a train wreck," says Thompson.

Thompson has been part of the DRA since its inception and says cuts to the program are nothing that Louisiana or the seven other states the agency covers can afford.

The DRA got $3.3 million for Louisiana in 2016 and leveraged it to draw $75 million through its projects.

"Century Village, St. Joseph, Tallulah, The City of Monroe, downtown development, poverty point... this gives a bridge for economic development," says Thompson.

Representative Ralph Abraham says he's not focusing on cuts. Instead, he's lauding investments in the military and veterans.

Abraham's statement reads:

"President Trump's budget blueprint paves the way for truly slashing the size of the bloated federal government and finally invests in our military and veterans. We'll need to negotiate on some areas that are important to economic development in Louisiana, but I believe the proposal is a good first step in what will be a developing negotiation process."

It's a process that has Thompson cautiously hopeful.

"Senators and congressmen, not only in this state but around the nation... encourage them, and say let's not take this step forward," says Thompson. "It would be a step backward and maybe even many steps backward."