In terms of legislative lines of demarcation, there’s before Barras and after Barras, writes Jeremy Alford in his new column.
That’s to say there was the Louisiana House before the election of Speaker Taylor Barras and then the one that exists today, following his unexpected rise to the position on January 11, 2016.
There are those who believe the seeds of legislative change were planted prior to Barras’ ascension, but it’s clear, writes Alford, that the lower chamber has taken on an entirely new look since Barras got the job. And the changes will continue into the next legislative term, beginning with leadership elections.
While Barras’ ability to get elected without the help of a sitting governor was remarkable, his management style has done more to shape the modern House than most other factors. The lack of hardball politics coming from the top and the GOP hold on the House have created an environment where it’s now OK to start running early and publicly for speaker.
Read the full column where Alford delves into the representatives that are gunning to take Barras’ seat, and what it could mean for Louisiana.