House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, said in a statement this week that his team is working on a set of resolutions, to be filed sometime this spring, that should hopefully put to rest some of the concerns shared recently by legislative staffers.
“We’re actively working on solutions and workarounds to laws requiring employees to use leave while they work from home,” Schexnayder says. “I don’t think anyone believes that at the end of the day we’re going to make our staff use sick and vacation time while they work from home during such a critical time. We will get it worked out. With that said, I’m not going to engage in any political or partisan back and forth. This is not the time for partisan maneuvering, it’s time to work together to get through this unprecedented crisis.”
That “partisan back and forth” may have been a nod to Rep. Sam Jenkins, D-Shreveport, the chairman of the Democratic Caucus. Jenkins sent the following letter to Schexnayder today:
“It has been brought to the attention of the Democratic Caucus that staff working from home are being required to use sick, annual or comp leave time. In light of the unprecedented circumstances regarding COVID-19, we ask that you reconsider and allow staff to work with regular pay. Staff should not be required to use any of their earned time. We understand that other state workers are not being required to use earned leave. Further, these are certainly circumstances beyond their control. We trust that you will give this matter your immediate and appropriate attention and do what is right for the staff.”
They said it: “We’re tough. Bring it on.” —LSU Coach Ed Orgeron on COVID-19 and Louisiana, during a news conference with state officials.