Disaster relief aid proposed for disabled services

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — To provide new services to the developmentally disabled, Gov. Bobby Jindal wants to use $11 million from the state's pool of federal recovery money for hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

Jindal's budget would use those dollars earmarked for disaster needs to expand home- and community-based care for the disabled around Louisiana.

The governor's top budget adviser, Kristy Nichols, says the administration is confident federal officials who oversee the spending will agree to the proposal. She says the dollars will help with revitalization of services in communities that were hit by the 2008 storms.

Jindal proposes using the $11 million to draw down federal Medicaid money to provide $26 million in expanded disabled services.

The issue is politically sensitive. Jindal angered lawmakers six months ago by vetoing dollars earmarked for disabled services.

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