Home Opinion-Free It is time for state government at its best

It is time for state government at its best

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Randy Brown

On Monday March 14, the Louisiana Legislature began its regular session for 2022. This is a general session, not a fiscal session. As such, it can last for no more than 60 legislative days during an 85 day calendar period. Therefore, the session is set to end at 6 p.m. on Monday June 6, 2022. Since this is a general session, no measure levying or authorizing a new state tax, increasing an existing state tax; or legislating with regard to any state tax exemptions, exclusions, deductions or credits shall be introduced or enacted during this session.

The decisions made by our state legislatures in Baton Rouge during this session will shape our state policy for the future. According to reports, 1,195 were pre-filed for this session. That number is expected to grow as each state legislator (105 house members and 39 senators) can file up to five bills each by 6 p.m. on April 4, 2022. So, there is much work to be done in the days ahead.

There is no doubt that our state is at a crossroads once again. Of course, the state policy made by our legislators affects each and every resident of our state. In my opinion, in spite of the massive federal dollars that have been pouring into our state, our state policy must always focus upon spending (and the tremendous over spending that has existed in Louisiana for decades). Additionally, our state policy must also focus upon making Louisiana a business friendly state in doing everything within its power to attract business and industry to our state. And, our state policy must absolutely focus on education.

Simply put, this is about the future. And, we need to do everything possible to retain our best and brightest at home. We need to attract the business and industry needed to keep pace with our neighboring states in the southern region. Louisiana can no longer accept being near the bottom of the list in terms of positive and major economic development activity when compared to our neighboring states in the southern region. As such, we can’t sink down even further by not having the tools that we need in order to remain competitive on the educational front.

Louisiana is a great state….so full of life, food and fun! If this were not true, so many of us would not be so eager to live here. And, so many people would not be so extremely anxious to visit our great state. As such, Louisiana has a lot going for it. I have never lived anywhere else and quite frankly, do not want to live anywhere else. I love our state!

Again, our state legislature has an extremely tough three months ahead. Our state legislators work hard. And, their hard work (along with the hard work of their legislative aids and assistants) never stops (even when the legislative session is over). From what I have seen in all of the state legislators that I have personally known through years, none of them do this for the money. They do what they do for the betterment of our state. However, with the surplus that now exists as a result of the federal dollars that are now pouring in to our state, does a pay raise for our state legislators need to be considered at some point in the future?

We need to pray that our state legislators can somehow come together to reach mutually beneficial decisions that will have significantly impact our great state in a positive manner. In short, Louisiana needs to be the best it can possibly be for all of us! So, it is time for state government at its best!

Randy Brown is editor and publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune.



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