Louisiana Legislature Ends

Probation and parole officers fill out messages for lawmakers in the Louisiana House chamber, trying to persuade the Legislature to keep the officers' pay raise in next year's budget, on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.

AP Photo by Melinda Deslatte

When the legislative session ended Thursday night in shouts from House legislators to let them vote on the budget compromise, state Rep. Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, won this round of budget hardball. The House Republicans have demonstrated the contempt they hold for their colleagues and the voters in Louisiana. Successful governing requires leadership and willingness to focus on the best interests of the state, not petty personal political vendettas.

The Republican leaders of the Louisiana House of Representatives have demonstrated their disdain for their colleagues, the governor, and the people of Louisiana by their unwillingness to negotiate on funding state government, crushing any hopes of improving roads and bridges and their willingness to continue to gut education and health care. Their small-minded, mean-spirited rancor is hurting people and communities.

Many voters across the political spectrum are frustrated that the personal political interests of House Speaker Taylor Barras, of New Iberia, Henry and state Rep. Lance Harris, of Alexandria, are keeping Louisiana on the edge of financial crisis. The approach of former Gov. Bobby Jindal and former U.S. Sen. David Vitter to crashing the state budget has terrible consequences for Louisiana working families.

We need to ask the Louisiana Legislature to go back to work in the special session to pass a state budget to protect education, rural health care, services for the disabled and children in foster care.

Show up and do your job, and stop wasting the taxpayer's money on games and grandstanding. It's time for the Legislature to go to work for the people of Louisiana.

Melissa S. Flournoy

former legislator

Baton Rouge