EBR Republican Legislators on Session
Money issues will dominate the fiscal session of the Louisiana Legislature now underway, Republican lawmakers from East Baton Rouge Parish told the Ronald Reagan Newsmaker Luncheon April 14.
GOP legislators discussed legislation they are authoring and other key bills in the session, and answered questions from Republican activists in attendance at the meeting at Café Américain, 7521 Jefferson Hwy. The meetings, which are open to all registered Republicans, are held at 12 noon on the second Tuesday of each month.
Rep. Franklin Foil discussed the importance of improving traffic flow in Baton Rouge. He expressed support for a toll highway following the old bridge and Airline Highway.
Rep. Barry Ivey said the state’s budget has structural problems that are making it impossible to solve the budget shortfall in the normal way. Because the legislature has authority over such a small portion of the budget, it cannot cut its way out of the problem. Major structural reforms will have to be made on both the tax and spending sides, he said.
Rep. Valarie Hodges said Louisiana is now the No. 1 state fighting human trafficking. She cited the importance of border control and reports that ISIS has a training camp within eight miles of the U.S. border. Generous welfare benefits for illegals will bankrupt the country, she said.
Sen. Bodi White said the state government had an influx of one-time money after Katrina that raised spending levels, and that has ended. Meanwhile, repeal of the Stelly Plan cut revenue. The state has done a good job of cutting state employment from 80,000 to 50,000 but more economies will have to be made.