The Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce holds their legislative appreciation luncheon today featuring the Central Louisiana State Delegation to hear from legislators about the outcomes of the recent session in Baton Rouge.
The six senators and five state representatives were on hand today at the community center at England Air Park. ABC 31 News’ Joel Massey caught up with a few of them to discuss the recent session and some hot political topics.
Republican State Representative Mike Johnson from District 27 spoke with me about some takeaways from the session. First up redistricting:
“We’ve been able to maintain Rapides Parish as a single Parish, not split congressionally”
Another issue they tackled was infrastructure.
“Much needed roads much expansion and improvements on things such as Highway 28 some roads within the rural area.”
Johnson said they did a lot of work to not duplicate mistakes made after Hurricane Katrina.
“We tried to spend the money responsibly not do it such that it’s going to create a void in the future, and not overload our budget moving forward. So that the people can keep more of their tax dollars and not be faced with increased taxes.”
Republican Senator Jay Luneau is a popular state representative and local attorney on Jackson Street. He spoke about the unemployment trust fund
“We were able to fully fund that and get it back up to it’s pre-Covid levels which was incredibly important for the business community because it meant that there would not be a tax increase on unemployment.”
Luneau is glad that there will not be a Veto Override Session.
“I think everybody’s not wanting to go back I think we’ve been there long enough and frankly I think it would be a waste of taxpayer dollars to do so.
Democrat representative Ed Larvadain touched on the problem of gun violence in Lousisana and his views on what to do about it.
“The most violence we have is ages 15 to 35 we’re trying to keep the young folks in high school graduate and we’re trying to create opportunities in colleges and universities for those students that don’t go to college we want them to go to community college get a trade get a skill look at the Army we just don’t want young folks sitting around doing nothing.”
Larvadain also spoke about infrastructure.
“It’s all about roads and bridges when I was on the city council, working with the government working with the delegation here.”
The delegation has secured 5 million dollars for drainage but Larvadain wants more especially for Lower Third, Martin Park and the Deerfield communities
“There’s too many people flooding every year and it’s getting old and we have to deal with drainage throughout the city and throughout this community.
The Louisiana Delegation that was created last year is proud of the fact that they work well together across political lines.
This week there are a few joint committee meetings at the capital. The Student Behavior, Mental Health And Discipline Task Force meets Thursday as well as the State Boxing And Wrestling Commission and the Gaming Control Board.