If you're wondering who your state legislators are, a quick Google search can satisfy your curiosity. A more interesting question is whether those same people will represent you by the time 2017 winds down.
With the exception of the Baton Rouge mayor's race and the 3rd Congressional District contes…
For a sense of what could be coming, consider what happened in 2016 to one large delegation, Jefferson Parish's. Less than a year after the start of their new four-year terms, three of the parish's 12 House members quit, Bryan Adams and Joe Lopinto to take non-elected jobs and Tom Willmott to join the Kenner City Council. Adams' and Lopinto's replacements were elected without opposition, even though open legislative seats in the past have attracted large fields of contenders, which just added to the sense that the job's not so desirable anymore.
Upcoming elections could produce still more turnover. New Orleans municipal contests are attracting widespread early interest from the city's legislative veterans, although it's too soon to say who'll actually run. More than a few legislators are eying the state treasurer's office, now that John Kennedy is heading to the U.S. Senate. Others may make like Adams and Lopinto and simply walk away.
It's not hard to see why.
Historically, state legislative seats have been appealing entry-level offices for those with larger ambitions. The list of high-profile leaders who put in time in the state Capitol includes Gov. John Bel Edwards, U.S. Sens. David Vitter and Bill Cassidy, U.S. Reps. Steve Scalise and Cedric Richmond, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Baton Rouge's outgoing and incoming mayors, Kip Holden and Sharon Weston Broome.
Polly Thomas has a long record of involvement in public affairs, particularly education. The…
Lately, though, the job has become a pretty tough slog. The budget news is so bad that it's hard to give constituents anything they want, or to avoid voting for fiscally responsible but politically painful service cuts and tax increases. This past year featured two long special sessions on top of the regular session, and at least one special session is likely in 2017.
That means lawmakers are spending more time away from jobs and families, and coming home with less to show for it. And while there's at least some hope they'll tackle budget reform this year and set the state on a more sustainable path, the situation is certainly not going to improve in the short term.
It's no wonder the exit sign lights seems to be burning awfully bright these days.