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The Louisiana Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) program is hosting a mock legislative session called Action Legislature on Saturday, August 9th in the house chambers at the Louisiana State Capitol. Participation is open to all high school students. Registration will be held between 8-9 am in the rotunda (first floor) of the Louisiana State Capitol. Come learn more about how the legislative process works and how laws are enacted.

The program will begin at 9 AM and conclude at 3:00 PM. Registration is $25 and includes a boxed lunch and handout materials on the legislative process.

Or anyone interested can download the form from the website www.hobylouisiana.org by clicking on the tab labeled ACTION LEGISLATURE. Please mail it along with a check or pay the registration fee online using the Paypal Button on the far right.

“In a clear act of executive overreach, Governor Jindal’s attempt to abandon Common Core has placed politics ahead of our children and the future of our state. We cannot and will not stand for it. The lawsuit filed by parents against the governor sends the message that the people of our state will not allow misguided politics to choke off the promise of a better Louisiana. The lawsuit brings to light the real issues on which we should be focusing, following the law so that we can meet the needs of students, parents, and teachers. Again and again their interests have taken a back seat to political ambition and been held hostage by a small but vocal minority. I commend the parents across the state who took bold action today to do what is right and improve our education system. I will continue standing with them to help ensure that their cause succeeds.” -- Rep. Walt Leger III

Dear Friend,

Now that the dust has settled from the 2014 Regular Legislative Session, I would like to share some information on what happened and what it means for you. Below is a brief recap of some of the legislation that I fought for this session. We won several major battles for New Orleans, but we clearly have much work to do.  I will keep working for you over the course of the year and next session.

Thank you for your support and guidance throughout session and every day in-between. Together, we will make Louisiana the best state it can be!

Sincerely, 

Walt

Walter "Walt" J. Leger, III
State Representative, District 91
Speaker Pro Tempore, Louisiana House of Representatives

Click here full report compiled by the Louisiana House of Representatives. 

 


 

LEGISLATIVE SESSION REPORT: 

LEGER WINS MAJOR BATTLES TO IMPROVE EDUCATION, FIGHT CRIME, AND SECURE MORE THAN $217.9 MILLION FOR NEW ORLEANS

 


INVESTING IN NEW ORLEANS

 

Capital Outlay Highlights

 

  • $42 M for the Audubon Institute 
  • $41 M for Renovations to the Smoothie King Center 
  • $25 M for New Orleans Convention Center Authority
  • $19.8 M Louisiana Children’s Museum
  • $18.5 M for Expansion in Louisiana Stadium District 
  • $15 M for the Louisiana Cancer Research Center
  • $7.7 M for LSU Health Sciences Center 
  • $7.5 M Port of New Orleans, Cruise Ship Terminal
  • $6 M National WWII Museum
  • $5.9 M Kingsley House Acquisition, Renovation and Expansion
  • $5.8 M for City Park Golf Complex Improvements
  • $4.2 M WYES TV Rebuilding and Repair
  • $2.9 M for New Mental Health Clinic Behavior, Social, Medical Supported Detox Clinic
  • $2.7 M for State Road improvements in Algiers
  • $2.5 M Mercy Endeavors Senior Center, Jackson Avenue
  • $2 M for New Mental Health Center, Metropolitan Human Service District
  • $1.9 M Rosenwald Community Center
  • $1.54 M Carrollton Community Center Construction, Trinity Christian Community
  • $1.5 M New Orleans Airport Authority Feasibility Study/Interchange Modification Report and Evironmental Assessment
  • $1.5 M for State Match to provide economic evaluation of the value of deepening the Mississippi River Channel to 50 feet
  • $1 M New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Project with Public Library System of New Orleans
  • $990 K Port of New Orleans, Milan Upland Yard Improvements
  • $572 K for Gilbert Park
  • $400 K Eden House, New Facility

 

Convention Center Riverfront Development

One of our greatest achievements this session was passing a bill that will give the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center the opportunity to issue bonds to raise up to $142 million that would support private development. At its heart, the bill aims to redevelop the New Orleans Mississippi riverfront. It allows for the Convention Center, without any new taxes, to leverage its own money to invest in the future of New Orleans. The legislation will help generate $1 billion in private investment, and allow for the creation of complimentary services, such as hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, offices, parking, entertainment, and similar activities. Not only will this create a major boom in the hospitality industry, but it will also provide significant new opportunities for New Orleanians to reconnect with the Riverfront and enjoy the amenities that this major construction project will bring to our city and region.

“I would like to thank Representative Leger for carrying this bill, which is the flashpoint for reinvigorating our Riverfront, creating hundreds of jobs, and helping cement New Orleans' position as one of the greatest convention destinations in the world!”

 Melvin J. Rodrigue, Chairman of the Board of the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall 

In the Press:

House committee signs off on New Orleans Convention Center expansion (NOLA.com)

Will the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans Expand? (International Meetings Review)

Bill Signing Signals Approval to Revitalize New Orleans’ Convention Center Corridor

 


 

EDUCATION

Common Core

In 2010, Gov. Bobby Jindal and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education committed to the idea that Louisiana’s children deserve to be taught to expectations as high as any in our country. They joined with 43 other states in setting common minimum expectations in reading, writing, and mathematics for public school children. Politics later set in, and Gov. Jindal joined with those on the extreme left and the extreme right in opposing common expectations and competitive tests. In response, a group of pragmatic Democrats and Republicans joined with me to author HB953. The bill passed, but the governor vetoed it on Friday. HB953 would have allowed Louisiana to immediately implement the Common Core expectations and tests, but it gave students and teachers two extra years to prepare before the performance expectations were established. I am deeply saddened to see that politics have gotten in the way of what is best for our children, but I will continue fighting to ensure that our students are able to receive quality educations and compete nationally. 

Early Childhood Education

To support a streamlined approach to early childhood education, I sponsored a bill to ensure that gaps in service are identified between family demand and available slots. This includes a full assessment by the State Department of Education on possible funding streams to fulfill education demands. The bill passed the House and was sent to the governor for executive approval. Along with a package of other legislation I helped to shepherd through the process, we have made a major commitment to improving access and quality of early educational opportunities across this state. 

Quality School Facilities

After years of trying to implement true facility reform Statewide, this year I enacted legislation to ensure the quality of our schools matches the quality of education, I sponsored a bill to allocate tax dollars for the repair, maintenance and replacement of public school facilities in the City of New Orleans. The bill ensures that infrastructure for public schools will be preserved and protected, addressing the serious unmet need of funding long-term maintenance, emergency repairs, and capital improvements of those buildings. This bill was signed into law by the governor, and in future years, it will serve as a model across the state to address our public education infrastructure challenges.  

Second Chance for Dropouts

Another bill I sponsored and was signed into law is aimed at giving students who dropped out of school a second chance. It will provide students with access to education and the possibility of achieving a high school diploma or GED. The bill allows for the establishment of programs to locate those who have dropped out and put them in touch with resources to help them succeed. The programs will provide academic coaches or mentors, connect the student to social services, and provide tutoring.

Making Higher Education Affordable

On the higher education front, I proposed a bill to continue to fund higher education at a minimum of our 2013 funding levels. The bill would have protected the students in Louisiana from shouldering a heavy financial burden in exchange for an education. Unfortunately, the bill was shot down by a senate panel more concerned with making budgetary cuts than the students of Louisiana, their families, and the future of our state’s workforce. 


 

CRIME AND SAFETY

Funding Public Safety

For several years, I have sponsored the Casino Support services contract legislation that will automatically pay the State’s obligation to the City of New Orleans for public safety services provided around the Harrah’s casino.  Many times over the past six years, the legislation has been vetoed by the Governor.  This year, we were successful in convincing him to sign the bill into law. It guarantees an annual payment of $3.6 Million dollars from tax revenues generated at Harrah’s Casino to the City of New Orleans to assist the City in funding police, fire, emergency medical services, and other public safety functions. 

Supporting Police Officers and Fire Fighters

I sponsored HB 111 to allow the people to vote on a constitutional amendment that would authorize the New Orleans City Council to ask the voters of the City to support additional millages for police and fire protection. Nobody wants his or her taxes raised, but everyone wants to be safe. The fact is that the City should have more flexibility on how to fund critical needs like hiring new police officers and funding the Consent Decrees and firefighter pensions. Ultimately, the final decision will be with the people of New Orleans. The bill passed through both the House and the Senate and it has been presented to the Secretary of State. When the people of Louisiana vote to adopt the amendment, it is estimated to generate $31.6 million a year.


PEOPLE-FIRST

 

In an effort to reform language surrounding disabilities, and to remove the “r-word” from state statutes once and for all, I sponsored a bill that was adopted to introduce “person-first” language intended to humanize the individual and make any disability secondary. The bill will move us forward by removing antiquated language from our laws and showing the proper respect for all members of our community.  The bill awaits the Governor’s signature.


HEALTH CARE

 

Medicaid expansion is again one of the greatest losses for the people of Louisiana. Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government would have paid 100 percent of each state’s Medicaid expansion costs for the first three years and no less than 90 percent after that. However, last session Governor Jindal rejected the $16 billion offer. Unfortunately, a new attempt presented this session to allow Louisianans to vote on the issue was killed. Because of this, nearly 250,000 Louisianians remain uninsured.


BLIGHT

 

The bill I authored to help combat blight and align state law with the City’s new codes that strengthen enforcement capabilities passed.

 


 

 

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

To view the status of all the legislation proposed this session, please visit legs.la.gov

And as always, you can reach me at my office at (504) 556-9970, 
on my cell phone at (504) 427-4344 , and via e-mail atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dear Friend,

Now that the dust has settled from the 2014 Regular Legislative Session, I would like to share some information on what happened and what it means for you. Below is a brief recap of some of the legislation that I fought for this session. We won several major battles for New Orleans, but we clearly have much work to do.  I will keep working for you over the course of the year and next session.

Thank you for your support and guidance throughout session and every day in-between. Together, we will make Louisiana the best state it can be!

Sincerely, 

Walt

Walter "Walt" J. Leger, III
State Representative, District 91
Speaker Pro Tempore, Louisiana House of Representatives

 


 

LEGISLATIVE SESSION REPORT: 

LEGER WINS MAJOR BATTLES TO IMPROVE EDUCATION, FIGHT CRIME, AND SECURE MORE THAN $217.9 MILLION FOR NEW ORLEANS

 


INVESTING IN NEW ORLEANS

 

Capital Outlay Highlights

 

  • $42 M for the Audubon Institute 
  • $41 M for Renovations to the Smoothie King Center 
  • $25 M for New Orleans Convention Center Authority
  • $19.8 M Louisiana Children’s Museum
  • $18.5 M for Expansion in Louisiana Stadium District 
  • $15 M for the Louisiana Cancer Research Center
  • $7.7 M for LSU Health Sciences Center 
  • $7.5 M Port of New Orleans, Cruise Ship Terminal
  • $6 M National WWII Museum
  • $5.9 M Kingsley House Acquisition, Renovation and Expansion
  • $5.8 M for City Park Golf Complex Improvements
  • $4.2 M WYES TV Rebuilding and Repair
  • $2.9 M for New Mental Health Clinic Behavior, Social, Medical Supported Detox Clinic
  • $2.7 M for State Road improvements in Algiers
  • $2.5 M Mercy Endeavors Senior Center, Jackson Avenue
  • $2 M for New Mental Health Center, Metropolitan Human Service District
  • $1.9 M Rosenwald Community Center
  • $1.54 M Carrollton Community Center Construction, Trinity Christian Community
  • $1.5 M New Orleans Airport Authority Feasibility Study/Interchange Modification Report and Evironmental Assessment
  • $1.5 M for State Match to provide economic evaluation of the value of deepening the Mississippi River Channel to 50 feet
  • $1 M New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Project with Public Library System of New Orleans
  • $990 K Port of New Orleans, Milan Upland Yard Improvements
  • $572 K for Gilbert Park
  • $400 K Eden House, New Facility

 

Convention Center Riverfront Development

One of our greatest achievements this session was passing a bill that will give the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center the opportunity to issue bonds to raise up to $142 million that would support private development. At its heart, the bill aims to redevelop the New Orleans Mississippi riverfront. It allows for the Convention Center, without any new taxes, to leverage its own money to invest in the future of New Orleans. The legislation will help generate $1 billion in private investment, and allow for the creation of complimentary services, such as hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, offices, parking, entertainment, and similar activities. Not only will this create a major boom in the hospitality industry, but it will also provide significant new opportunities for New Orleanians to reconnect with the Riverfront and enjoy the amenities that this major construction project will bring to our city and region.

“I would like to thank Representative Leger for carrying this bill, which is the flashpoint for reinvigorating our Riverfront, creating hundreds of jobs, and helping cement New Orleans' position as one of the greatest convention destinations in the world!”

 Melvin J. Rodrigue, Chairman of the Board of the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall 

In the Press:

House committee signs off on New Orleans Convention Center expansion (NOLA.com)

Will the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans Expand? (International Meetings Review)

Bill Signing Signals Approval to Revitalize New Orleans’ Convention Center Corridor

 


 

EDUCATION

Common Core

In 2010, Gov. Bobby Jindal and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education committed to the idea that Louisiana’s children deserve to be taught to expectations as high as any in our country. They joined with 43 other states in setting common minimum expectations in reading, writing, and mathematics for public school children. Politics later set in, and Gov. Jindal joined with those on the extreme left and the extreme right in opposing common expectations and competitive tests. In response, a group of pragmatic Democrats and Republicans joined with me to author HB953. The bill passed, but the governor vetoed it on Friday. HB953 would have allowed Louisiana to immediately implement the Common Core expectations and tests, but it gave students and teachers two extra years to prepare before the performance expectations were established. I am deeply saddened to see that politics have gotten in the way of what is best for our children, but I will continue fighting to ensure that our students are able to receive quality educations and compete nationally. 

Early Childhood Education

To support a streamlined approach to early childhood education, I sponsored a bill to ensure that gaps in service are identified between family demand and available slots. This includes a full assessment by the State Department of Education on possible funding streams to fulfill education demands. The bill passed the House and was sent to the governor for executive approval. Along with a package of other legislation I helped to shepherd through the process, we have made a major commitment to improving access and quality of early educational opportunities across this state. 

Quality School Facilities

After years of trying to implement true facility reform Statewide, this year I enacted legislation to ensure the quality of our schools matches the quality of education, I sponsored a bill to allocate tax dollars for the repair, maintenance and replacement of public school facilities in the City of New Orleans. The bill ensures that infrastructure for public schools will be preserved and protected, addressing the serious unmet need of funding long-term maintenance, emergency repairs, and capital improvements of those buildings. This bill was signed into law by the governor, and in future years, it will serve as a model across the state to address our public education infrastructure challenges.  

Second Chance for Dropouts

Another bill I sponsored and was signed into law is aimed at giving students who dropped out of school a second chance. It will provide students with access to education and the possibility of achieving a high school diploma or GED. The bill allows for the establishment of programs to locate those who have dropped out and put them in touch with resources to help them succeed. The programs will provide academic coaches or mentors, connect the student to social services, and provide tutoring.

Making Higher Education Affordable

On the higher education front, I proposed a bill to continue to fund higher education at a minimum of our 2013 funding levels. The bill would have protected the students in Louisiana from shouldering a heavy financial burden in exchange for an education. Unfortunately, the bill was shot down by a senate panel more concerned with making budgetary cuts than the students of Louisiana, their families, and the future of our state’s workforce. 


 

CRIME AND SAFETY

Funding Public Safety

For several years, I have sponsored the Casino Support services contract legislation that will automatically pay the State’s obligation to the City of New Orleans for public safety services provided around the Harrah’s casino.  Many times over the past six years, the legislation has been vetoed by the Governor.  This year, we were successful in convincing him to sign the bill into law. It guarantees an annual payment of $3.6 Million dollars from tax revenues generated at Harrah’s Casino to the City of New Orleans to assist the City in funding police, fire, emergency medical services, and other public safety functions. 

Supporting Police Officers and Fire Fighters

I sponsored HB 111 to allow the people to vote on a constitutional amendment that would authorize the New Orleans City Council to ask the voters of the City to support additional millages for police and fire protection. Nobody wants his or her taxes raised, but everyone wants to be safe. The fact is that the City should have more flexibility on how to fund critical needs like hiring new police officers and funding the Consent Decrees and firefighter pensions. Ultimately, the final decision will be with the people of New Orleans. The bill passed through both the House and the Senate and it has been presented to the Secretary of State. When the people of Louisiana vote to adopt the amendment, it is estimated to generate $31.6 million a year.


PEOPLE-FIRST

 

In an effort to reform language surrounding disabilities, and to remove the “r-word” from state statutes once and for all, I sponsored a bill that was adopted to introduce “person-first” language intended to humanize the individual and make any disability secondary. The bill will move us forward by removing antiquated language from our laws and showing the proper respect for all members of our community.  The bill awaits the Governor’s signature.


HEALTH CARE

 

Medicaid expansion is again one of the greatest losses for the people of Louisiana. Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government would have paid 100 percent of each state’s Medicaid expansion costs for the first three years and no less than 90 percent after that. However, last session Governor Jindal rejected the $16 billion offer. Unfortunately, a new attempt presented this session to allow Louisianans to vote on the issue was killed. Because of this, nearly 250,000 Louisianians remain uninsured.


BLIGHT

 

The bill I authored to help combat blight and align state law with the City’s new codes that strengthen enforcement capabilities passed.

 


 

 

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

To view a full report compiled by the Louisiana House of Representatives, visit my website by clicking here. 

To view the status of all the legislation proposed this session, please visit legs.la.gov

And as always, you can reach me at my office at (504) 556-9970, 
on my cell phone at (504) 427-4344 , and via e-mail atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

April 30, 2014

Dear Friend,

I’m reporting live from the floor of the Louisiana House of Representatives to share a few important updates on legislation being addresses this session. There are four bills that I want to bring to your attention dealing with our schools, riverfront, and health care. 

HB 1271 - School Facilities Preservation Program
I’m pleased to say that HB 1271, the School Facilities Preservation Program that I’m sponsoring, cleared the House with no opposition and is now with the Senate. When it passes, the bill will provide funds for the maintenance of New Orleans’s newly built and renovated public school buildings. Because the Orleans Parish School Board has never dedicated revenue to the upkeep of its school buildings, schools were crumbling even before Hurricane Katrina hit. Our public school facilities are now in the middle of an incredible rebuilding plan paid for by the $1.8 billion in FEMA and Insurance proceeds, but these funds don’t cover maintenance. It’s imperative that we think ahead and put in place a long-term plan to protect these facilities for future generations. 

HB 788 - Ernest N. Morial Convention Center 
HB 788, which I sponsored, has passed through the House and now is with the Senate. When it passes, it will give the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center the opportunity to issue bonds to raise up to $142 million that would support private development. At its heart, the bill aims to redevelop the New Orleans Mississippi riverfront. It allows for the Convention Center to leverage its own money to invest in the future of New Orleans. The legislation will help generate $1 billion in private investment, and allow for the creation of complimentary services, such as hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, offices, parking, entertainment, and similar activities. 

HB 953 - Common Ground on Common Core
The House Education Committee cleared HB 953 yesterday, which I sponsored to give public schools and students an additional year to prepare for Common Core tests. Common Core is a set of high-quality academic standards adopted so that all students have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed when they graduate from high school. 

I introduced this legislation to 
strike a balance between those who favor the national standards and those who have concerns about implementation. We've added two extra years to prepare, and the
 results from 2015 and 2016 tests will be sent to the Department of Education and a university for independent analysis. 


SB 96 - Access to Affordable Health Care
While I would prefer to end this legislative update with the previous bill, I feel obliged to report on the failure of SB 96. Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government has offered to pay 100 percent of each state’s Medicaid expansion costs for the first three years and no less than 90 percent after that. However, Governor Jindal rejected the $16 billion offered to Louisiana by the federal government to pay for Medicaid expansion costs. Because of this decision, nearly 250,000 Louisianians remain uninsured. But Senator Ben Nevers provided a solution that would allow Louisianians to vote this November on whether or not they want to expand access to affordable healthcare.

Unfortunately, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted 6-2 to defer the bill last week, which essentially kills it for this session. But rest assured that this is not the end of our fight to provide affordable health care for all Louisianans! 
                                
 
Thank you for supporting these bills. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information on the legislation we are considering this session.

Sincerely,

Walt

Walter "Walt" J. Leger, III
State Representative, District 91
Speaker Pro Tempore, Louisiana House of Representatives

Dear Neighbor,

If you followed my weekly emails during last year’s session, you would have noted the theme “Making Smart Investments.” We won major achievements, and we’re already reaping many of the benefits. But we still have a long way to go toward realizing our great State’s full potential. So this Legislative Session, I will be focusing on “Louisiana’s Bright Future” by shedding the poor policies of the past and pursuing modern, progressive ones that improve the quality of life for all of us.  

To kick off this agenda, I authored HB 63 to eliminate the “r-word” and modernize language in our state laws on how we refer to persons with disabilities and other persons with exceptionalities. It will go before the Health and Welfare Committee on March 19. This bill is important to me for many personal reasons, but it also is part of my vision for bringing Louisiana into the future and ensuring that all of our residents are valued and treated fairly.

In that same vein, I’m going to keep working for equal pay and employment nondiscrimination. Simply, Louisiana cannot meet its workforce needs and its full potential unless all persons take part in our economy in a fair and competitive way! 

As I mentioned last week, we continue to fight an uphill battle to balance the budget. Ensuring that we are directing our limited resources toward our priorities means knowing what we value most. For me, it is people. That’s a simple answer, but it does guide every decision I make -- what’s best for the people of Louisiana. And not only in the short term, but for future generations. 

The decisions we make this session will influence our lives in very meaningful ways, and they will affect the future for our children and grandchildren.

If you have not yet taken my Legislative Session Survey, please do so now. It only takes a few minutes of your time. And if you have family and friends who live in District 91, please have them sign up to receive my newsletter and participate in the survey atwww.waltleger.com.

Sincerely, 

Walt
Walter "Walt" J. Leger, III
State Representative, District 91
Speaker Pro Tempore, Louisiana House of Representatives

Dear Neighbor,

New Orleans’ renaissance has been the result of a community effort -- working, rebuilding, and persevering. And in that way, we are a city of entrepreneurs. 

We're seeing small businesses pop up across the city and new ventures being created at a rapid rate. In fact, the Brookings Institute places NOLA’s entrepreneurial activity as 56% above the national average. And this past week was a shining example of that: 

  • Thousands of people engaged at the 6th annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week
  • I spoke to the folks behind the local startup LifeCity, and
  • I met with a group of national journalist in town to experience our vibrant entrepreneur scene.  

You can read the USA TODAY article, "New Orleans festival targets lovers of business ideas" that was published today by clicking here

As your state representative, I am dedicated to helping small businesses and creating good-paying jobs. I support legislation that fuels our economy, including everything from innovative incentives for businesses to ensuring fair pay. 

If you have a business idea and are dedicated to making it happen, there are plenty of resources across the city to help you make your dream a reality:

Louisiana Small Business Development Center

Net2NO (NetSquared New Orleans)

New Orleans Business Alliance

New Orleans Chamber of Commerce

Greater New Orleans, Inc.

The Idea Village

Propeller

As always, if I can provide any assistance, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sincerely,

Walt

Walter "Walt" J. Leger, III
State Representative, District 91
Speaker Pro Tempore, Louisiana House of Representatives

 

Dear Neighbor,

Town Halls, coffee meetings, social gatherings, neighborhood events -- no matter where I go, people across New Orleans all share the same top concern -- crime.

This session, we have an opportunity to do something meaningful to fight crime and make our streets safe. I am sponsoring House Bill 111 to allow the people to vote on a constitutional amendment that would authorize the New Orleans City Council to ask the voters of the City whether they support additional millages for police and fire protection issues. Nobody wants their taxes raised, but everyone wants to be safe. The fact is, the City should have more flexibility on how to fund critical needs like hiring new police officers, funding the OPP Consent Decree, NOPD Consent Decree, and firefigher pensions. Ultimately, the final decision will be with the people of the City of New Orleans.

Our police and fire departments are making real progress, but we need to give them the resources they need to do the job well and make our streets safe, while also ensuring the safety of our police officers and fire fighters by giving them the tools they need to do their jobs. Since taking office in 2010, Mayor Landrieu has worked with the City Council each year to increase the budgets for the City’s public safety agencies. Earlier this year, the Mayor along with Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas and Fire Department Superintendent Timothy McConnell highlighted early signs of progress on the city’s public safety efforts and showcased new, state-of-the-art public safety equipment and technology. It is clear that our city’s leadership is committed to investing in public safety and introducing more resources, better facilities, and increased transparency. And we’re seeing major returns on these investments. Homicides were down more than 19 percent in 2013, compared to 2012, and the number of murders was the lowest in nearly 30 years.

This is promising news, but there is a lot more that we need to do to make our streets safe.

In order to maintain the momentum and keep pushing crime rates down, we need to fund the officers, equipment, and programs that make it possible. We must offer our officers and fire fighters competitive wages, so that we have the best personnel here and don’t lose them to departments in other cities and parishes.

So, I authored HB 111 to allow the people of New Orleans to choose. This constitutional amendment will be your chance to help make our community safer. Our city needs your support. 

If I can provide additional information on HB 111, or if you would like to share your thoughts, please contact me atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Sincerely, 

Walt

Walter "Walt" J. Leger, III
State Representative, District 91
Speaker Pro Tempore, Louisiana House of Representatives

What You Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act

Beginning October 1st, individuals, families, and small businesses in Louisiana and across the U.S. will be able to shop for health insurance and compare a wide range of plans online through a virtual insurance exchange called the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Louisiana’s federally run Health Insurance Marketplace will affect both the insured and the uninsured.

Already have health insurance? 
Those who are already insured will be able to find out if they are eligible for lower-costing private insurance and programs such as Medicaid.

Do not have health insurance? 
Those who are uninsured may qualify for tax credits to purchase coverage in the Marketplace.

Open enrollment in the Marketplace will run from October 1st until March of 2014, and coverage will start as soon as January 1st, 2014. The Marketplace will have qualified health insurance navigators to assist users, provide fair and impartial information, and facilitate enrollment.

Visit healthcare.gov and follow the easy prompts to get:

  • a list of coverage options you may qualify for (specific plans and prices available Oct. 1),
  • answers that will help you make good decisions, and
  • a personalized checklist to help you get ready to apply.

The Affordable Care Act mandates that all U.S. citizens must have health insurance by January of 2014 or they will face penalties set forth by the IRS. The new healthcare law also forbids insurance companies to deny coverage or charge higher rates to anyone because of a pre-existing condition.

The purpose of the Health Insurance Marketplace is to:

  • create more insurance options,
  • reduce healthcare costs for individuals, small businesses, and the government,
  • expand public and private insurance coverage, and
  • strengthen Medicare.

If you’d like me and my team to help you navigate the Louisiana’s Insurance Marketplace, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To learn more about the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace, visit https://www.healthcare.gov.

Friend,

Even with historic bipartisan cooperation this session, political ideology continues to divide us.

I was proud when the legislation that I sponsored to empower the Morial Convention Center and revive New Orleans’ riverfront passed through the legislature. This was after I restored $100 million that Gov. Jindal tried to swipe from the project.

The Governor vetoed the bill anyway.

Read More

Making Our Vision for Louisiana a Reality

Friend,

We ended the 2013 regular session today at 6 p.m. A lot of hard work led to a great sense of satisfaction.

The session is about much more than crafting legislation and hashing out a budget; it is where we represent the will of you, the people, and it is where we work to make our vision for the future of Louisiana a reality.

Did we succeed or did we fall short?

Yes we succeeded, and yes, we fell short.

Read More