JENNINGS, LA (KPLC-TV) – Lawmakers who represent Jeff Davis and Acadia parishes met to discuss their legislative agendas at the annual Jeff Davis-Acadia Parish Legislative Breakfast Tuesday morning.
Senator Dan Morrish, Representative Johnny Guinn and Representative Jack Montoucet each said the budget—especially this session—is their top priority.
"Unlike the United States, we have to have a balanced budget," said Morrish (R-Jeff Davis, Cameron Parish). "So as we go into this session, the biggest issue is going to be the budget."
A freshman legislator, Guinn (R-Jeff Davis, Calcasieu Parish) believes the next legislative session will be full of heated debates, especially given a $1.2 billion budget shortfall.
"It's going to be a very contentious session" predicted Guinn. "Everything that comes up on the floor is going to be subject to a potshot by politicians to be able to cut down, add to."
Lawmakers will have many ideas on how to balance the budget. Montoucet (D-Acadia, Lafayette Parish) hopes his colleagues will look at the number state buildings.
"One area that nobody has spoken about is how many state buildings …we own in this state," said Montoucet. "I think we could save a substantial amount of money if we took a look at that."
The lawmakers also weighed in on the possibility of the State of Louisiana suing the federal government over the implementation of the new health care law.
"The attorney general, if he feels like what has passed in Washington is unconstitutional, he can certainly question that and the way to question that is through the courts," said Morrish.
"The whole legislature is going to be concerned about that because it is going to have a direct impact on all of our citizens," said Montoucet.
Lawmakers also took questions from the audience, mostly Jeff Davis business people.
The Jeff Davis Business Alliance hosts the annual legislative breakfast. This year's breakfast was held at Frey's Crawfish House.
To visit the official legislative site of Senator Dan Morrish click here.
To visit the official legislative site of Rep. John Guinn click here.
To visit the official legislative site of Rep. Jack Montoucet click here.