A couple of Louisiana parishes that suffered damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 have turned to former Senator John Breaux (D-La.) and a colleague of his at Patton Boggs for help with Federal Emergency Management Agency loans.
Lobbying registration reports filed with Congress on Wednesday for Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes do not say whether the firm's FEMA loan advocacy work is related to Hurricane Katrina, and efforts to reach representatives of the parishes, as well as Breaux and his colleague, Patton partner Matthew Cutts, for an immediate comment were unsuccessful. But, according to The Times-Picayune, the parishes are fighting FEMA's rejection of their requests for Katrina-related disaster loan forgiveness.
FEMA has forgiven hundreds of millions of dollars in Katrina-related loans. Rules on disaster loans, however, have thwarted forgiveness applications from Jefferson Parish for $55 million and from St. Tammany Parish for $12 million. Operating with at least several budget surpluses since Katrina, the parishes cannot receive loan forgiveness, which is reserved for municipalities that posted deficits for three full fiscal years after the hurricane.