Legislative Update: April 6, 2006, Hurricane Relief

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved April 5 the latest Emergency Supplemental Spending bill for Iraq War costs and Hurricane Katrina relief. The bill included an amendment by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), which gives the Department of Education $300 million to be directed to students displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Details of how the monies will be dispersed have yet to be worked out.

There was also $30 million in aid for colleges in Louisiana and Mississippi that "sustained damage or incurred recovery or response costs from the hurricanes which ravaged the Gulf Coast." The money, which would be provided through the U.S. Education Department’s Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education, was added to the bill by Sens. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), and Mary Landrieu (D-La.).

These funds will have to survive the conference with the House of Representatives version of this supplemental, but it is doubtful that it will be removed.