State Sen. Barrow Peacock said the special session that ended in early March will have a effect on the 2018 Legislative Regular Session. But he hopes it will not impede progress.
“The special session will have an effect on the budget,” Peacock said. “Some members will not vote for a budget. But for a vast majority of the bills, I would hope every member takes every bill on its subject matter and votes yea or nay and keep personal feelings out of their decision making.”
Peacock said the flow of a regular session should help keep lawmakers on track.
“The regular session is a whole lot more structured than the special session,” he said. “In a regular session the committees meet every day, with sessions every afternoon. There is a whole lot more activity with the committees meeting every single day.
“With that, there is going to be a push to have the session move faster, especially on the Senate side, with hopes of adjourning earlier. The idea is we might come back into another special session, but it would be during current with the regular session calendar. Hopefully we will pass a budget during the session. I see it as the obligation of the legislature to pass a budget with the revenue forecasts we have available. If it’s the will of the majority to raise revenues, than so be it.”
Three of the bills that Peacock is introducing during the session — SB 198, SB 202 and SB 203 — would allow Louisiana to enter multi-state compacts that would streamline licensing for EMTs, nurses and physical therapists by unifying the licensing standards among the states in the compacts. Peacock said the multistage compacts would be a benefit to families moving to Barksdale as well as local workers in those fields.
“I met with Col. Newman back in December and discussed this matter. What it would do is let us know that their licensing and requirements are up to speed, so there would be no problem transferring their license. It also will help local citizens, such as EMTS who are working in Shreveport and Bossier and over in Marshall.”
Peacock is chair of the Senate Retirement Committee. As chair of that committee, he sits on 13 retirement system boards. Many of the bills he in bring to the session deal with the specifics of those retirement systems. On retirement bill, SB 14, will benefit the rank-and-file state employees, Peacock said.
“it should provide a better retirement for state workers while reducing liabilities to taxpayers going forward,” he said. “It has a defined benefit, but it also has a defined contribution. That portion should provide greater growth to our state workers for a more generous retirement, without increasing the burden on the taxpayers.”
By Scott Anderson