Well fall is upon us with falling temperatures, football games, and elections. We have been very busy this summer with meetings locally and in Baton Rouge. These meetings will begin to increase this fall as budget and fiscal issues take center stage.
I have been speaking to various groups about last session and the issues to come for next year. I have also had the pleasure of visiting local schools, and colleges as well as LSU Medical Center and Vocational Institutions. We have had other tasks for District 10 constituents ranging from bridge and road issues to health issues and other tasks.
The Hurricane last month gave me a chance to visit the EOC and GOHSEP operations and visit the shelters in Shreveport to listen to the evacuees as they go through some tough times.
This month will feature several important meetings. The first was Sept. 12 with local leaders and Rep. Brett Gueymann, Rep. Simone Champagne, and myself for a question and answer session on possible “Budget Reform” legislation. Budget Reform is how to change the budget process to stop cutting the same areas and services and prioritize cuts to balance the budget rather than protecting 75% of the budget and cutting the 25% left over. This will be a difficult challenge, but to continue with the current process does not seem logical.
We also have two important COLA (cost of living adjustment) meetings for State Retirees. This issue needs to be addressed to set forth a plan that systematically provides for COLA’s. The problem, as with everything, is money.
We need to look at changes in the retirement systems that would allow us to put our financial house in order.
The Tax Rebate Commission is currently meeting to review the effort of Tax Rebates on our economy. They will report to the legislature on their findings, prior to session next spring.
As we go thru this fall and issues at State and National levels are discussed, I encourage you to investigate and research the facts about issues rather than believe everything on the news. I have learned that everyone has an agenda and although you get some facts, you may not get them all.
As always, I encourage you to call or visit my office if there is an issue that we need to discuss or that I should be made aware of.
Gene Reynolds is the state representative for Minden and all of Webster Parish. His legislative updates run periodically in the Minden Press-Herald.