Louisiana lawmaker scraps proposal to cut unemployment aid

Coronavirus

In this March 24, 2020, photo, David McGraw poses for a portrait as he sits on his front porch in New Orleans. Barely a week ago, McGraw was cooking daily for hundreds of fine diners at one of New Orleans’ illustrious restaurants. Today, he’s cooking for himself, at home, laid off along with hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. in a massive economic upheaval spurred by efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana lawmaker has shelved his effort to cut state unemployment aid during the coronavirus outbreak after learning the proposal would keep the state from receiving federal assistance.

Republican Rep. Gerald “Beau” Beaullieu was trying to keep unemployment aid for Louisiana residents who are out of work from exceeding the money they earned in their previous jobs.

Louisiana Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Dejoie told a House committee Wednesday the proposal would run afoul of federal virus aid requirements.

She said that would make Louisiana’s 450,000 unemployed workers ineligible to receive the $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit available through July. Beaullieu pulled his bill from consideration after hearing the testimony.

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