Nine local state lawmakers shared their thoughts on the 2014 legislative session in front of business leaders. The Northwest Louisiana delegation of lawmakers joined local chambers of commerce to inform business leaders of changes in the legislature.
"It's important to have a legislative wrap up for the business community, to inform them of what exactly did happen,” said Lisa Johnson, President of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce.
875 new laws passed in 2014.
“Most things that were major changes did not pass. A whole lot of little things that didn’t get a lot of media attention passed,” said St. Rep. Alan Seabaugh, ( R), La Dist. 5.
St. Rep. Roy Burrell is happy the hotel occupancy tax passed. With voter approval in November, the hotel occupancy tax will increase by two percent, providing more funds for the Independence Bowl, the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, the Shreveport-Bossier Tourism and Convention Bureau and the ArkLaTex Regional Air service.
“Those types of projects are very important to the quality of life we have in Shreveport and Bossier area,” said St. Rep. Roy Burrell, ( D), House Dist. 2.
Rep. Alan Seabaugh is overjoyed two abortion bills passed, which in effect severely reduced the number of abortion clinics in the state. Rep. Gene Reynolds fought most of the session to keep Common Core.
“We need to stay where we are, have some stability, keep the common core standards this year,” said St. Rep. Gene Reynolds, (D ), House Dist. 10.
But not every legislator present was pleased with the session.
“When I say we did not get what we should've gotten for the people, when I think about the fact that we were not able to push the affordable healthcare for the state of Louisiana. We still have over 240,000 who are without affordable healthcare,” said Rep. Barbara Norton, (D ), House Dist. 3.
This session, lawmakers passed a $24.6 billion dollar budget. Legislators will not have a veto session. This November, there will be 14 constitutional amendments on the ballot.