2014 Legislative Update
Legislation was passed to:
Protect Local Oil & Gas Jobs
Thousands of jobs were potentially in jeopardy from the Southeast Flood Protection Authority lawsuit. SB 469 / Act 544 killed the suit and ensured that subsequent monies must be used for coastal restoration.
Improve Higher Education & Workforce Development
$87 million invested in workforce development, higher education, TOPS, students with disabilities and infrastructure at Nicholls.
Build Emergency Operations Center
$13.1 million in funding for the Morgan City Harbor and Terminal District will provide a state-of-the-art emergency operations center for St. Mary Parish. In times of disaster, a unified command will be housed there.
Fund Morganza to the Gulf & Levee Districts
$94.6 million allocated to fund Morganza to the Gulf, to improve levees in Lafourche and Terrebonne, and to deepen and improve the Houma Navigation Canal
Much was accomplished in the 2014 Legislative Session, especially for the people of District 21.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of ending the Southeast Flood Protection lawsuit against 97 oil companies to the jobs and economic stability of District 21. SB 469 / Act 544 ended a threat to thousands of oil workers and simultaneously guaranteed that any future monies awarded to state or local governments in relation to coastal restoration will have to be allocated to coastal restoration instead of used in other ways.
Roads and critical infrastructure were not overlooked by the 2014 Legislature. Nearly $12 million is pledged for road work on LA 182 from the Iberia Line to LA 670, LA 87 in Iberia, and the reconstruction of parts of both Charenton Beach Road and Chitimacha Trail. Also included in that total are infrastructure projects throughout the District such as Morgan City Water Plant improvements, improvement of sewerage collection along Old Spanish Trail in Berwick, replacement of water and gas meters in Patterson, and improvements and additions to the Charenton Canal Industrial Park. A $1.9 million widening of LA 20 in Thibodaux was passed along with $4.35 million for an Emergency Operations Center in Terrebonne Parish, nearly $1 million was passed to widen South Hollywood Road in Houma, and $5.4 million is being put towards the Thompson Road Extension along with many other infrastructure improvements for District 21.
Over $10 million was allocated to the protection and enhancement of the Atchafalaya Basin through the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. This vital resource and habitat is not only important to us here at home; it’s also important to our nation and is deserving of preservation now and into the future.
The 2014 legislature supported levee protection and the maintenance of the waterways of District 21. The legislature added over $76 million in funding to Morganza to the Gulf, added $16 million in funding for the South Lafourche Levee District, passed $1.1 milliion in improvements to the North Lafourche Levee District, further funded the Barrier Plan to help protect North West Terrebonne, has allocated funds to deepen the Houma Navigation Canal, and put up over $4 million in improvements to the Terrebonne Multi-Use Complex.
Education and workforce development was a real focus for 2014, starting with $40 million devoted to workforce development and scientific research in higher education via the WISE fund. There was a $32.5 million increase in TOPS and $23.4 million was funded for home and community based waiver programs. The legislature also dedicated $14.5 million for new assistance for students with profound disabilities and was able to fund multiple infrastructure projects ate Nicholls State University (Talbot Hall, Athletics Training Facility & Didier Field).
Recreation and quality of life were not overlooked, with nearly $200,000 allocated for projects at Caffery Park in Franklin and Recreation District #3 in Bayou Vista. $3.9 million was passed for a new sports complex in Terrebonne, $725,000 being devoted for the Mechanicville Gym, and $325,000 devoted to the Bayou Terrebonne Boardwalk improvements.
It continues to be my honor to serve as your Senator. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you and your family.
2014 Legislative Update (2650 KB)