Lawmakers outline legislative priorities

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Stacey Tinsley/Bossier Press-Tribune | District 6 State Rep. Thomas Pressly speaks during the Bossier Chamber Pre-Legislative Breakfast Thursday.

Prior to the 2020 Louisiana legislative session, lawmakers met Thursday to discuss their key legislative priorities for the year during a breakfast hosted by the Bossier Chamber of Commerce.

Seven senators and representatives discussed their priorities and what they think will be the top issues facing the legislature this year.

“I will have a number of bills that I will be introducing this session dealing with expanding compacts for people in both the emergency medical services, and audiology and speech-language pathology professions,” said District 37 State Senator Barrow Peacock.

“I will also be working to increase funding for roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects,” he added.

With one of the largest districts in Bossier Parish, District 36 State Senator Robert Mills says jobs will be one of his main focuses this session.

“As someone who has been in business for many years, I know how important it is to attract businesses and create jobs in our area. I will do what I can everyday to protect the jobs that we have and help attract new jobs,” said Mills. 

District 9 State Representative Dodie Horton said she is looking to move Louisiana forward with new policies.

“We look to really move Louisiana forward — to create the new Louisiana — not to throw your hard earned money at the same old failed policies,” said Horton.

District 8 State Representative Raymond Crews named a number of key issues that he would like to focus on this session. But one issue that is close to his heart is health.

“One of the bills is going to encourage telemedicine. A lot of people are rural. They can’t go to the doctor everyday. So we’re going to need more help so we can do more remote medicine,” said Crews. 

District 6 State Representative Thomas Pressly said for decades Louisiana has been on the bottom of all of the good lists and on top of all the bad lists. This is something he would like to change. Starting with fixing Louisiana’s roads.

“When I decided to run for state legislature, I wanted to change that,” Pressly said. 

“We need to fix our roads. I was meeting with a client last week and I had to stop on a state highway because the pot hole was so big. That’s a problem. That’s an issue we need to address. Right now, 11 cents of our gas tax is all that goes to our roads,” he added.

District 3 State Representative Tammy Phelps says she has pre-filed two new bills dealing with education.

“My previous experience includes being an elected school board member for District 6. I’m very aware of some of the education issues that we have going on in our state. One of the bills that I am working on includes giving authority back to school board members,” Phelps said.

“From a parental standpoint, the community needs to know, ‘Who’s going to be my next principal? Is there a gap in leadership? Who will that be?’ and just having a voice to know,” she added.

“In my mind it’s not about a party. It’s not about a party’s agenda. I believe that we all want to work to move Louisiana forward so we can grow and not be at the bottom of the totem pole.”

After hearing his fellow lawmakers speak, legislative veteran District 5 Alan Seabaugh said he loves the energy and new ideas they will be bringing into the new session.

“I love the energy — the new ideas. People are coming in with new perspectives,” said Seabaugh.