State Rep. Eddie Lambert did not have to wait until election day to find out if he will be returning to the Legislature for a third term.
Like nearly half the Legislature, Lambert won re-election outright when no one qualified to run against him in the Oct. 22 primary.
“Very few people can afford to serve. Unlike (the) Parish or City Council, you meet during working hours and not after work... . Very few employers can afford to have employees gone for that period of time,” Lambert said.
Estimating that there are 230 workdays in a year, he said he logs as many as 100 days devoted to legislative work. The rest of his work time is spent on his law practice.
Lambert is vice chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, which oversees the state operating budget. He also serves on the natural resources and homeland security committees.
He successfully fought attempts to direct state dollars to the proposed Baton Rouge Loop, which aims to ease traffic congestion. Lambert questioned at the time whether the project is feasible.
Lambert said his goal over the next four years will be to get an interstate exchange at La. 74 and Interstate 10 and to continue improvements to Ascension Highway’s infrastructure.
Budget issues — driven by dwindling revenue for the state — are likely to dominate upcoming legislative sessions although the state’s economic outlook does not appear to be as dim as it was.
Lambert said he favors spending cuts rather than tax increases to deal with budget problems.
“I am particularly concerned with the growth in personal service contracts with state government,” he said. “We need to implement a procedure to oversee these, but with a part-time Legislature it is very difficult to have continuous oversight when we are not in session.”
Lambert said a fee increase is different from a tax increase because fees should be tied to the cost of government services.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is touting job creation as he seeks a second term in a crowded, but poorly funded, field of challengers.
Lambert said Louisiana needs a business-friendly tax structure to stimulate economic growth.
He said an emphasis needs to be placed on a two-tier secondary education system to address the high rate of poverty in Louisiana.
Students who do not want to attend college need to be given the opportunity to pursue a craft or a trade in high school, Lambert said.
Lambert’s House 59 district is based in Ascension Parish and is predominately white. For many, the parish is a bedroom community with residents commuting to Baton Rouge for work.
He said his district’s greatest needs involve infrastructure.
“Improvement of highways is the most critical need of my district and Ascension Parish,” he said. “Ascension is one of the fastest-growing parishes in the state and my representative district had the largest growth in the state.”
EDUCATION: B.A., J.D., LSU.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: State representative.
WHERE TO VOTE
Ward/Precinct and location
1 Oak Grove Community Center
2 Oak Grove Primary
3 Galvez Branch Library
6 Dutchtown High
7 Mayon’s on Miller Street
8 Oak Grove Primary
9 Prairieville Middle
10 Prairieville Middle
11 Prairieville Middle
16A Duplessis Primary
16B Duplessis Primary
17 LeBlanc Nissan
20 Fire District No. 1 Training Facility
71 Dutchtown Middle
72 Dutchtown Middle
73 Dutchtown Middle