LA spending on Gustav, Ike tops half-billion dollars

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana's costs for responding to hurricanes Gustav and Ike have topped a half-billion dollars.

That's the latest tally provided to lawmakers Friday for response efforts like evacuation transportation, shelters, food and water, and search and rescue efforts.

The state's asking federal officials to reimburse the state for most of the costs.

Traditionally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency pays 75 percent of disaster response costs while states pay 25 percent. Governor Bobby Jindal has asked the state's cost-share to be waived like it was after Hurricane Katrina.

But if federal officials refuse to pick up the tab, Louisiana has money socked away in funds to cover $107 million of its share of the costs. That was the word from Jindal's chief budget adviser, Commissioner of Administration Angele Davis.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)