BOSSIER CITY – The Bossier Chamber of Commerce, along with Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, Shreveport-Bossier African American Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Minden Chamber of Commerce and NLEP (North Louisiana Economic Partnership), hosted the Northwest Louisiana Legislative Summit at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, at CenturyLink Center.
The premise of the Northwest Louisiana Legislative Summit is to provide a look at the State of the State and provide a wrap-up of the 2019 Legislative Session. For this year’s format, we invited 14 state Legislators to participate in a panel discussion, moderated by the Council for a Better Louisiana President and CEO Barry Erwin, to talk about topics of great importance to our state: Tax Reform, Education, Infrastructure and Criminal Justice. As the top elected official in Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards gave the keynote address, focusing on major wins for the state, and, specifically, Northwest Louisiana.
Panelists included state Sen. Barrow Peacock, Sen. Ryan Gatti, Rep. Wayne McMahen, Rep. Larry Bagley, and Rep. Thomas Carmody. They all spoke about the importance of the topics presented, particularly education and infrastructure, touting wins within the state to raise the MFP, giving teachers and support staff pay raises and getting money allocated for the completion of the I-49 Inner City Connector. Rep. Bagley and Sen. Peacock worked together to have the I-49 Inner City Connector added to the now $700 million state infrastructure bill.
“Every representative and every senator from here voted for the I-49 extension,” Bagley said. “So we are all united to get I-49.”
Gov. Edwards echoed many of these wins for the state for 2019, adding the Barksdale Interchange, and our area in hosting the National Governor’s Association’s Cyber Conference in Shreveport-Bossier. On infrastructure, the governor announced more work on Interstate 20 as well as a commitment to invest in rural bridges throughout the state, to the tune of $90 million over the next three years.
“When we work together, we can do tremendous things for Louisiana,” Edwards said. “And make sure we will leave the state the way we want it be for our children and grandchildren so they will have opportunity and prosperity here in Louisiana. That’s what our mission is.”
The Bossier Chamber of Commerce hosts the Northwest Louisiana Legislative Summit, along with our regional partners – Greater Minden Chamber of Commerce, Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, Shreveport-Bossier African American Chamber and North Louisiana Economic Partnership – as a way to educate our membership and business community about the Legislative Session and state government. This year’s format gave our local state senators and state representatives the opportunity to speak directly to their constituents from the stage. The Summit is not and has never been a political event. The Bossier Chamber of Commerce does not endorse candidates for political office and only seeks to educate our membership and community about issues of great importance to our city, parish and region.