Graves lists top five concerns CEOs have about investing in Louisiana 

U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., speaks during the press conference in June 2021. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

What are the main concerns CEOs and C-level executives have when considering investing in Louisiana? U.S. Rep. Garret Graves says he called and asked them, and most of the answers probably won’t surprise you. 

The top five, Graves told the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge today, are: 

  1. Infrastructure, including roads, bridges and flood protection. He says a new Mississippi River bridge is imperative and it’s taking too long to decide where it should be.
  2. Crime, noting high rates of violent crime in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. 
  3. Education, which Graves tied to crime. “People go into survival mode if they don’t have options,” he says. “I think that’s what’s motivating crime in some cases.” 
  4. The state’s tax system. The Tax Foundation rates Louisiana’s business tax climate 42nd in the nation.
  5. High automobile insurance rates. He says companies feel they have to pay higher salaries so workers can afford insurance and private schools. 

Asked if he plans to run for governor, Graves didn’t completely rule it out but stressed that he was focused on Congress. 

“I’d be lying to you if I told you that I’ve never even thought about it,” he said. “We have absolutely no plans to do it. I just want to wait and see how things evolve and most importantly focus on the job that we’ve got right now.”  

Graves says he expects an effort in Congress to codify abortion rights as the U.S. Supreme Court seems poised to overturn Roe v. Wade but doesn’t think it will succeed. He says it would get 53 votes in the Senate at best, short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. 

Graves says he supports overturning Roe because the decision should be left to the states.