This morning, I walked into the Capitol for the last time during a Legislative Session as a Louisiana State Representative.
I remember the first time I walked into this building after having been given the honor to serve the people of District 91. I can still see the bright, lit-up Capitol on the night before I was sworn in as I drove up I-110 towards it. It glowed.
Imagine with me for a second, the grandeur and the amazement of working in a place like this, surrounded by energy and purpose and hope. Imagine the noise in the Rotunda, the students visiting, the tours being given, the lobbyist lobbying, the awe-inspiring chamber that we work in.
Imagine visiting festival queens, organizations of all stripes, high school sports teams. We’ve honored thousands of people and organizations over the last 12 years. It’s impossible to remember it all, although I wish I could.
Imagine walking to committee with all of the hustle and bustle of the halls and the committee rooms. The noises, the smells, the citizens, the incredible staff handing out documents and bill folders so that we can do our work. The bills will get presented, the red and green cards will get filed. Hundreds of questions will be asked, hundreds of little notes will be passed.
Literally tens of thousands of votes made, many great victories won, many difficult battles lost. But in the end, as we wrap up this final session, I will move forward in service knowing that, through the ups and downs of the last 12 years, we are on the upswing once again because this year we have:
Approved the development of an anchor hotel at the upriver end of the Morial Convention Center, which will provide an infusion of $280 million per year for the state and city economies, $24 million in new tax revenues, and thousands of new jobs for local residents.
Added a $39 million investment in our k-12 classrooms across the State for the first time in a decade.
Provided teacher and support worker pay raises for the first time in a decade.
Increased state investment in both early childhood education and our institutions of higher education.
Approved a $700 million infrastructure plan to advance major infrastructure needs across the state, including at the Port of New Orleans.
Paved the way for a new 340-room hotel at Harrah’s Casino, with a pledge from Harrah’s to invest $325 million and create hundreds of construction and permanent jobs.
This whole process is simply remarkable and I am proud of the work that we have done here. It has never been easy, but it has always been fulfilling.
Imagine being able to go to a job every day where you work for a State that you love, for people who you love that are part of your family and your community. Imagine being that blessed.
A sincere thank you for your confidence in me. I believe our best days are ahead of us, and no matter where I am, I will always be willing to stand with you to move our community and State forward!
I wish you and your family all the best.