Local lawmakers address Common Core, budget shortfalls at Legis- - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Local lawmakers address Common Core, budget shortfalls at Legis-Gator

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

The ninth annual Legis-Gator Luncheon Friday had a different feel, particularly with Southwest Louisiana on the verge of major economic growth. More than 850 state, local, and national legislative leaders attended the event at L'auberge Casino Resort.

The SWLA Economic Development Alliance puts on the luncheon each year to award lawmakers for their pro-business workHouse Speaker Chuck Kleckley received the Legis-Gator of the Year Award for his work addressing workforce challenges in Louisiana.

"I think it's become the premier post session event in the state of Louisiana for the legislators, great crowd, great turnout, a lot of federal officials were here, I think there were 50 plus legislators here, so it was a huge success," Kleckley said.

State Senator Dan "Blade Morrish received the Government Affairs Award for voting with the Chamber of Southwest Louisiana's legislative agenda 100% of the time. Local lawmakers spoke about the recent legislative session, and about Common Core lawsuits.

"I think we had a lot of success, higher education was very successful this year they got additional money, when you look historically back, they'd been cut severely over the last several years," Kleckley said.

State Representative A.B. Franklin said the legislature could have done more to help Louisiana's less fortunate.

"We still got people hungry, we still got people homeless, and we still have people that are sick with no insurance far as I'm concerned for the session that gone, I'm not pleased with it, cause I don't really think we had got very much done," Franklin said.

Another challenge for lawmakers is the state's use of so called "one time" money to fill in budget shortfalls. State Senator Ronnie Johns said ways to stop using one time money are currently being discussed.

"We're not waiting until next session, we're meeting on a very um steady basis on our budget for next year we're looking at ways to balance our budget," Johns said.

Franklin said it's not a big problem.

"I think the way we're doing it with one time money, a lot of them disagree with it, but I seem to think the way we've been using it is fair," Franklin said.

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