Louisiana's Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne talks to 101.7 / 710 KEEL's Robert J Wright and Erin McCarty about the Governor's Phase I reopening order and how two months of mandated "stay-at-home" has slashed tax revenue coming to the state.

Dardenne tells KEEL listeners that in making the move to the new Phase I reopening, the decision to to extend the stay-at-home order two weeks ago was a tougher one. "Obviously we were all hoping we'd be able to open on the first, but the numbers just didn't justify that. We were moving toward the May 15 date all along, hoping the numbers would continue to improve."

The Commissioner also responds to the recent findings of the state's Revenue Estimating Committee, that points to substantial shortfalls in state funding of up to a billion dollars. "Unfortunately, it was expected," Dardenne says, "It's going to be a severe blow and it's something that's happening all over the country. We are going to get some relief from (the federal government). The state got $1.8 billion. Every state got a significant amount of money. So, this is an unprecedented, huge amount of money that's coming to the state. There are limitations on how it can be used, but there are some fairly liberal guidelines that have been issued by the United States Treasury that are going to allow us to tap into a significant portion of the (money) that's available to the state, including $800 million that's going to be available for local governments that have incurred expenditures related to the virus."