This week, the Louisiana Legislature convened in Baton Rouge for the first day of the 2019 session. The Pelican Institute remains hopeful that lawmakers will abandon the broken status quo and advance polices that will bring jobs and opportunity to our state.

Our lawmakers must have the courage to cast out the remnants of Huey Long’s populism, which allow special interests and the deeply-entrenched good ol’ boy networks to benefit at the expense of everyone else. Louisiana must abolish the endless cycle of doubling down on the bad policies that led Louisiana to its current state of crisis.  Our representatives must embrace a new vision to give our state a chance for better results, because the status quo simply isn’t working.

We can – and must – do better. This means long overdue change and comprehensive reform to finally bring Louisiana into line with the practices that have brought jobs and opportunity to many other states. Louisiana can no longer afford to fall behind its neighbors.

To accomplish this bold new vision, the Pelican Institute calls upon our lawmakers to advance policy reforms in several key areas, including our budget structure, the tax code, and the criminal justice system. But even more must be done including working on the legal and regulatory systems, the infrastructure and occupational licensing, just to name a few.

When talking to your lawmakers, ask them where they stand on these important policy issues this regular session. Are they for a broken status quo that continues to hold Louisiana back, or are they for a new vision of stronger Louisiana that grows our economy, creates jobs, expands pathways of opportunity and takes care of those who are most in need?

The working families of our great state deserve better than what’s been given to them in the past. The question is, will our elected leaders take this bold step?