For the first time in nearly a decade, Louisiana has a balanced budget. This means that we have managed to pass a budget that is honest and doesn’t rely on smoke and mirrors to get our bills paid. We no longer use one-time money for recurring expenses and we have streamlined our spending to the point that we are even currently enjoying a $100 million surplus.
We know that the years between birth and four are the most crucial for a child’s brain development. High quality care and attention during these years help build brain functions essential for learning and developing important cognitive skills. The care given during these early years sets a roadmap for the rest of each child’s life.
I began my career as an Assistant District Attorney in New Orleans where I prosecuted violent offenders and drug traffickers. I was proud of the work that I did there and I continue to benefit from the education I received in those courtrooms. But the lesson that stuck with me the most is that, although we’ve been tough on crime, we haven’t been smart on crime.
Too often, people talk about coastal preservation and restoration as if it were an afterthought-something insignificant to our everyday lives. But even though the effects of coastal erosion may seem like an issue for the future, it is very consequential to our present.
Economic development is not just one single thing. It is a combination of several efforts that encompass education, quality childcare, public safety, family wellness and then, finally, economic initiatives. In order to have a healthy economy, we have to have a healthy, well trained work force and proper infrastructure-we can’t expect to attract quality industry if we can’t offer them quality of life.