Ted James

Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge, proposed bills looking to update the state’s cannabis legislation this session.

State Rep. Ted James came out of his near-fatal bout with COVID-19 with a different outlook life that included far less tolerance for colleagues who pursue partisan agendas.

The 38-year-old Baton Rouge Democrat, who regularly jogs around the LSU and City Park lakes, told Jim Engster of “Talk Louisiana” that he was so sick at one point that he stopped fighting. He found strength from his pastor and his nurses.

But after a week or so in the hospital and couple of weeks recuperating at home gave James, who chairs the House Administration of Criminal Justice committee, a different perspective. Though still understanding that his job requires respecting a diversity of opinion, his recent near-death experience has left little tolerance for partisan issues aimed mainly at energizing a voter demographic and not progressing the betterment of Louisiana.

“I’m questioning whether or not at this point in my life, I want to go back and start fighting over things that are just partisan political things that are not going to make a single difference in pulling Louisiana from 50th in health standards, in education,” James said during his Thursday interview on the daily program that airs on WRKF-FM public radio in Baton Rouge.

James said he has sponsored about two dozen bills for his criminal justice committee, whose agenda he sets, and none are that important to him anymore.

“We need to be debating things that are COVID-related, the budget, and we need to make sure we are providing some sort of relief for small business owners and students,” James said.