It's not looking good in Baton Rouge as the state struggles to be able to pay its unemployed workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Louisiana Network recently released an article to help us understand the complexities of what's actually going on. Before the pandemic, Louisiana's unemployment trust fund was valued at the seventeenth strongest in the nation. However, fast forward to present times and Louisiana Workforce Commission Director Ava Dejoie says that coronavirus has nearly drained it dry.

Dejoie told Louisiana Network the state has paid out $5.4 billion in combined state and federal benefits so far this year as opposed to $153 million total last year. He went on to say there are penalties when a state's unemployment trust fund dips below $100 million. So not only will Louisiana have to pay back the money borrowed from the federal government, we will also have to pay back whatever penalties we rack up during these hard times.

Louisiana has to be opened up more so people can get back to work. Unemployment is draining our state financially and may put us in a hole that may take years to dig ourselves out of, not to mention all the tourism dollars we are missing. I see photos all over Facebook of SWLA residents on vacation in Florida. That needs to be a stay-cation here in Louisiana and keep your money in Louisiana, if possible. Our businesses and state need it desperately.

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