St. Tammany officials decry governor's veto of levee money

ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WVUE) - St. Tammany officials say politics is one thing, saving lives is another. With Slidell flood protection at stake, they are venting anger over a recent veto by Gov. John Bel Edwards and now turn to other agencies for help.

As we head into the heart of hurricane season, St. Tammany officials were hoping for $9 million in funds to close a vital link in the Slidell levee system, but because of the governor's veto, that link will remain a gaping hole.

"Lives are at risk. There have been deaths - yes I do think that's the case," said Parish President Pat Brister.

"You're stealing dollars from St Tammany," said Rep. Kevin Pearson, who questions why the children's museum got $27 million but their levee system couldn't get $9 million.

Many say the veto was a result of political pay back against a conservative St. Tammany legislative delegation that was anti-tax, but local lawmakers say St. Tammany pays its share.

The governor's office says it was a matter of obligated funds and not political payback.

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