LABI sets sights on legislative goals, upcoming elections

Looking toward the future was the focus of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry's Legislative outlook session.
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 8:45 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Looking toward the future was the focus of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry’s Legislative Outlook Session with the Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of Commerce in Alexandria on March 15.

The organization serves as a channel for advocacy on economic issues in the state and developing policies around how to best address those issues.

LABI leaders painted a bleak picture of Louisiana’s current status economically, ranking at the bottom in every category from population to the Gross Domestic Product. That is why they are looking toward the future to turn the state around, starting with this year’s legislative session and focusing on insurance, tax reform, education choice and the budget surplus.

But past just the two-month fiscal session in Baton Rouge, LABI said this is a critical year across every level of state government, with seats open in the upcoming election cycle and making sure those candidates are in alignment with their vision.

“I think there’s a thirst for changing the way we’re doing things,” said Beverly Haydel, LABI’s LA23 project manager. “And that spans across all issues, from education to tax policy to workforce development. So, I’m hopeful that, as we bring in a fresh set of statewide elected officials and a lot of new legislators, that there is an energy to do something different. And so, what we’re aiming to do through this project is to offer up solutions, and then hopefully get them on board. So, I’m optimistic.”

One of those elected-official hopefuls was present at the session: Stephen Waguespack, who up until last week was president of LABI and is running for the governor’s seat. Though he was not part of the leadership speaking, he did attend the meeting as a guest.

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