With tongue-in-check, a handful of New Orleans representatives attempted to piggyback onto an effort on Algiers secede from the City of New Orleans.
Rep. Neil Abramson attempted to change House Bill 744, which set up procedures for the Algiers neighborhood to leave the City of New Orleans, to allow Carrollton and Jefferson to also withdraw. Rep. Helena Moreno asked to include French Quarter and Rep. Wesley Bishop pointed that if East New Orleans was allowed to breakaway, it would be the state’s sixth largest city.
Abramson withdrew his amendment and yielded the floor to New Orleans Rep. Walt Leger III, who said the amendment underlined the real issue with the legislation.
If HB744 is approved and Algiers leaves the city, then neighborhoods in incorporated cities across Louisiana would be able to secede and create their own new city based on the perception by some of the residents that they are not receiving enough service.
Rep. Jeff Arnold, the Democrat whose district covers nearly all the precincts in Algiers and who sponsored HB744, said his bill is a reincorporation the residents on the West Bank of the Mississippi River are “tired of not being serviced” by city government.
The new city of Algiers would have about 60,000 people.
The measure won House passage, on a vote of 82-18, and now heads to the state Senate for consideration.
But the legislative package also includes a constitutional amendment, which requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature as well as a majority approval of the state’s voters.