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States make little use of provision to help hurricane victims

Jenni Bergal of The Center for Public Integrity reviewed health records to find that states have barely used $2 billion provided in an emergency bill passed by Congress to help low-income hurricane victims scattered across the country. "Any state that took in Katrina evacuees could tap into the money to offer cash to those who had at least one child and met certain income guidelines qualifying them as poor." But more than five months after the bill was signed into law, only 12 states — including Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama — have taken Congress up on its offer. Federal Emergency Management Agency figures show that at least 320,000 of the more than 1.6 million people registered with the agency have addresses outside of the three hurricane-ravaged states. Every state, from Wyoming to Maine, has taken in Katrina evacuees, according to FEMA statistics.

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