It’s been nearly 20 years since Louisiana’s rural development strategy was launched, and it’s been a tremendous success.
With a focus on economic development and social development, it’s the kind of policy that can help create a sustainable future for rural America.
But the plan hasn’t always been so rosy.
The strategy was introduced by Gov.
Bobby Jindal in the wake of the 2010 storm, when a flood threatened the region.
It was a critical piece of the Louisiana response, and the governor’s signature was a huge boost to development in the state.
But as the drought hit Louisiana, and communities and residents lost their homes and livelihoods, the strategy began to falter.
The plan relied heavily on land-grant development.
But, as the economy faltered, so did the strategy.
For instance, many of the state’s $15 billion in development projects were cancelled as funding dried up.
Some of the projects were canceled because the governor didn’t agree to new funding sources.
Others were put on hold while the drought receded.
The new Louisiana Department of Economic Development says it’s working to fix the problem, and has been working on a new plan to help Louisiana’s rural communities recover.
It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s a good one, said Louisiana State Rep. Dave Leitner, a Republican from the state Capitol.
The governor has said he’ll continue working on the plan.
But Leitson said the governor needs to get his act together before the drought ends.
And the plan won’t help a rural community like St. Charles, which has been without a major economic development program in decades.
The city has seen the need for a revitalization plan that would focus on education, job training and affordable housing.
The state is offering about $40 million in state grants to help build affordable housing, but that’s not enough.
Leitner said that, in the future, it’ll be up to local governments to make that kind of commitment.
“We have to look at this as an opportunity to rebuild,” he said.
“The state and the federal government can work together to create a plan to make sure we can have a real plan for the future,” Leitberg said.