Though the business community scored some minor victories in the recent legislative session, re-election-facing lawmakers declined to tackle any of the really meaty issues on the business and good government groups agendas.
As a result, another session has come and gone, and Louisiana has failed to address some of its most fundamental and pressing systemic problems, including the need for fiscal reform and investments in its crumbling, gridlocked highways and bridges.
Will things ever change?
Business leaders and good government groups say things have to change, and they’re trying a new approach to move the needle forward. In an unprecedented show of collaboration and public advocacy, three of the state’s most well-respected policy organizations—the Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Council for a Better Louisiana, and Public Affairs Research Council of Lousiana—are teaming up to push for major, systemic change across Louisiana in four key policy areas: state finances, education, transportation infrastructure, and criminal justice/public safety.
Though all three of the organizations have advocated for reforms in those areas in the past, they believe this new initiative, called RESET, will be different—not only because they’re working collaboratively but because fully one-third of the legislature will turn over in the fall elections.
Already, RESET is targeting the many candidates running for open seats and trying to get their support for issues on the RESET agenda, which includes things like fiscal reform, improving the state pension system, expanding access to high-quality early child care and education programs, strengthening K-12 schools and expanding school choice, beefing up workforce training, investing in transportation infrastructure, and improving the efficiency of the criminal justice system.
“We all know these are the good government things that need to be done,” Olivier says. “We’re just asking these candidates to keep them in mind as they approach a bill or a vote, and we will be there to give them cover.”
But beyond the initial outlay, the effort is about promoting policy and appealing to the reason of politicians in one of the most irrational political climates in recent memory. All of which raises the question: How effective will RESET really be? Read the full story from Business Report.