Dardenne Speaks on Tourism, Hospitals

Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne is traveling the state promoting his office’s main job: tourism.

TourismVanHe’s traveling in a bright mini-coach wrapped in the state’s latest tourism campaign and numbers. Tourism is a 10.8 billion dollar industry in Louisiana. One in 10 residents here make their living from tourism.

He started the week in Monroe, and today he’s in Mansura.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Office includes supervision of state parks, museums and the state library. Dardenne says in 2012 Louisiana hosted more than 26 million visitors, with a direct economic impact of almost 11 billion dollars.

He visited Avoyelles Parish today, which will host the annual Cochon de Lait Festival this weekend.

And Dardenne is setting his sights on the number one job in Louisiana: governor.

We asked him what he would do about the controversy surrounding the privatization of state hospitals, a plan now rejected by the federal government.

Our area’s state hospital is due to be shut down July 1st. Even though urgent care facilities are sprouting up there’s now no guarantee the state can pay for them.

KLAX ABC 31 News 5/7/14