Local Representatives on Inauguration

Reported by: Katie Lopez

If change is what Louisiana voters wanted, change is what they got.

District 36 Representative Chuck Kleckley says, "If people want change the change is getting ready to happen."

With only hours to go until 36-year-old Governor-elect Bobby Jindal will be sworn in as Louisiana's 55th governor, there are 59 new members of the House who are gearing up for what they hope to be a great four years.

District 33 State Representative, Mike Danahay says, "We feel like the things we do today will have a lasting effect decades from now, so there's great anticipation across the state for change."

District 34 State Representative, A.B. Franklin says, "I had the chance to speak with Governor-Elect Bobby Jindal for about 10 minutes and we had a good talk. I'm looking forward to working with him in the next four years."

Kleckley says, "The opportunities are incredible for what our state has with the new leadership and house members coming in....with the billion dollar surplus. This is an opportunity that doesn't come around very often so we're really excited."

While the local representatives agree there are improvements to be made in their districts, the real improvements are within is the state of Louisiana as a whole. They also agree that in order to improve the state, education has to be a number one priority.

"Education is a huge issue. If you could solve our education problems and get our young people educated that tends to solve a lot of other problems," Kleckley says.

Over the years, academics in Louisiana have improved, but compared to other states, student performance is still lacking.  When people do obtain a higher education in Louisiana, job opportunities in other states often lure them away.

"To keep people here we've got to give them opportunities to stay here. And in order to do that we've got to develop economically in Louisiana. You've got to make it a more business friendly state," says Kleckley.

"Governor Jindal is looking at calling a special session to do away with business taxes that have burdened our businesses for many years. Possibly from that we'll see more job creations and with that those people coming out of school will be able to obtain those jobs and stay here in Louisiana," says Danahay.

With change around the corner these new hopefuls say they are ready to help make those changes a success.

Franklin says, "I just want to make Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, the state of Louisiana a better place to live."

Danahay says, "They're looking to make a lot of changes...changes that need to be made in the state of Louisiana that will better Louisiana."

Kleckley says, "The people of Louisiana deserve a government that works and leaders that work together. I think that's what we're looking forward to."