I consider it a pleasure and honor to represent you at the Capitol in Baton Rouge, and I ask for your continued support as I seek re-election on Oct. 12, 2019.
As you know, the state’s budget took center stage at the 2019 General Legislative Session. In connection with state budget issues, legislative discussion centered on a pay raise for teachers and other school personnel. The approved pay raise plan gave teachers an additional $1,000 and support staff an extra $500 annually. The budget also allocated $39 million more for K-12 schools, new funding for early childhood programming, additional money for higher education, and more.
Beyond issues dealing with the budget, the legislature tackled a number of other matters – overall, legislators introduced 863 bills, 620 in the House and 243 in the Senate.
One of the biggest accomplishments of the session was the passage of a bill aimed at alleviating the state’s traffic and infrastructure woes by directing an estimated $700 million of the Deepwater Horizon settlement money to important bridge and roadway projects.
Some of the local infrastructure projects approved for funding include:
The legislature also voted to approve a $783 million coastal plan for the upcoming year that works to address the ongoing coastal crisis in Louisiana, and nearly $60 million for the right of way work in preparing for the Comite River Diversion Canal
Additionally, lawmakers passed legislation to strengthen laws passed last year that dealt with sexual harassment in the work place and hazing at our state’s institutions of higher education.
On the topic of health, legislators passed bills to allow therapeutic cannabis patients to use metered-dose inhalers, expand Medicaid coverage to certain qualifying children with development disabilities, protect individuals with pre-existing medical conditions if the Affordable Care Act is overthrown, and preserve rural hospitals.
The legislature approved a series of bills aiming to further restrict abortion. One such bill prohibits an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected and another is a constitutional amendment to let voters decide on whether to stipulate that the state’s constitution does not protect the right to an abortion.
I’ve added a one-page of highlights from the 2019 Legislative Session to my webpage. I hope you find it helpful. You can find details of bills and videos of committee and floor action by visiting http://www.legis.la.gov. And as always, if you have questions or need assistance, you can contact my office at 225-673-5048.
Thank you for allowing me the honor to serve you.
Eddie J. Lambert