Home Louisiana Quick hits: Louisiana news briefs for Wednesday, July 24

Quick hits: Louisiana news briefs for Wednesday, July 24

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Malware attacks target north Louisiana school districts

Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a statewide emergency late Wednesday afternoon in response to “an ongoing cybersecurity incident that is affecting several local government agencies.”

The declaration allows for assistance from cybersecurity experts from the Louisiana National Guard, Louisiana State Police, the state Office of Technology Services and others to assist local governments. The state also is working with the FBI and higher education leaders, Edwards says.

“The state was made aware of a malware attack on a few north Louisiana school systems and we have been coordinating a response ever since,” Edwards said in a prepared statement. School systems in Sabine, Ouchita and Morehouse parishes were affected, he said.

State seeks input on ‘duplication of benefits’ amendment

The Louisiana Office of Community Development is seeking public comments on an Action Plan Amendment that will recalculate some grants in the Restore Louisiana program for homeowners affected by the 2016 floods. The amendment reflects new federal guidance on the “duplication of benefits” fix. 

Homeowners who declined or canceled SBA loans will not have the SBA loan amount counted as a duplication of their Restore grant, regardless of income. Amounts of SBA loans that were drawn down may be reimbursed after HUD approves the amendment. 

For homeowners with incomes above 120 percent of their area’s median income who accepted SBA loans, HUD must approve hardship waivers. And for the first time Wednesday, OCD explained that, due to HUD’s requirement that at least 55 percent of all grant funds benefit low-to-moderate-income households, amounts paid to households over 120 percent AMI receiving the hardship exception for repayment of SBA loans will be 50 percent of the amount drawn down.  

The public comment period began Wednesday and concludes Aug. 6.