DENHAM SPRINGS — Infrastructure, particularly roads, are the biggest problem facing the people in House District 71, Rep. J. Rogers Pope said.
Pope, who is returning to office unopposed, said funding for schools is the second most important issue.
Overall the state needs to be more business friendly, Pope said.
“We have to do more for our small businesses, because those are the people who create jobs,” Pope said. “We might look at trying to reduce taxes to stimulate business.”
Pope said he is against any tax increases and most fee increases, which are “often a way of increasing taxes without a vote of the people.”
“We are taxed enough right now,” he said.
To balance the state budget, an examination needs to be done of all of the departments in state government “to figure out what is important and what isn’t,” the representative said.
Those things that are important should be funded to the level needed to do the jobs, and other things need to be curtailed, Pope said.
He said he isn’t in favor of layoffs, but thinks some state jobs could be eliminated by attrition.
The state needs to look at the Department of Social Services spending and, if necessary, redirect some of those expenditures, Pope said.
“Poverty is obviously a problem in our state,” he said.
“We’ve got to get more engaged with families,” he said, adding that in some cases “they have to take a more active role” in improving their situations.
Doing something to strengthen the job market could help reduce poverty, Pope added.
J. ROGERS POPE
Republican, Denham Springs.
EDUCATION: Master’s degree plus 30, Southeastern Louisiana University.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: State representative.
WHERE TO VOTE
Ward/Precinct and location
7A Walker High
23 Seventh Ward Elementary
24 Southside Junior High
24A Southside Junior High
24B Southside Junior High
24C Southside Junior High
24D Southside Junior High
24E Southside Junior High
25 Denham Springs City Hall
26 Denham Springs Elementary
26A Denham Springs Elementary
26B Denham Springs Elementary
26C Denham Springs Elementary
27 Denham Springs Junior High
28A Southside Elementary
28B Southside Elementary
35 Walker Freshman High
35A Walker Freshman High
36 Westside Junior High
39 Eastside Elementary
39A Eastside Elementary
39B Eastside Elementary
40 Freshwater High
40A Freshwater Elementary
41 Freshwater Elementary