Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Louisiana will begin implementing Phase 1 of the federal government’s reopening guidelines on May 15. Pelican released the following statement from CEO Daniel Erspamer regarding the state’s plan to reopen Louisiana’s economy and ease lockdown restrictions.

“For the last month, the Pelican Institute has urged Louisiana leaders to begin implementing the federal government’s Phase 1 guidelines to reopen the state’s economy. While we feel this has dragged on longer than necessary, we are encouraged to see state leaders prioritizing the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Louisianans and their families. This is a first step toward addressing the two major crises we currently face – COVID-19’s public health threat and crippling economic effects – but we’ll need long-term, structural changes to truly rebound and get Louisiana working.

Now that session is back at the Capitol, lawmakers need to act quickly and boldly to remove some of the biggest barriers to jobs and opportunity in our state. Solutions for our corrupt and broken budget process, our job-killing legal climate, and many other policy areas are more critical than ever, which is why we released our Get Louisiana Working Policy Solutions two weeks ago. We ask all Louisianans to join us in pushing for the fundamental changes we desperately need now.”