Senate proposal targets St. George, organizers say
BATON ROUGE- Mayor-President Kip Holden is pushing a Senate bill, he believes, would give the city-parish more time to vet a move by residents in the southeast area of the parish to breakaway and form their own city.
"We don't think it's good for the City of Baton Rouge," he said. "Now, people are saying it's not good for other cities across the state of Louisiana."
Holden met with the Louisiana Municipal Association Wednesday to discuss Senate Bill 674, which was filed by Senator Ben Nevers (D- Bogalusa). The proposal places a moratorium on incorporation through 2015, essentially stalling the push to create the City of St. George.
The bill does not mention the St. George effort, but supporters say they know what it's about.
"It's shocking that the EBR Parish President would personally lobby a state association on behalf of a state senator from Bogalusa for an issue that would stop registered voters in this parish from being allowed to vote," a St. George organizer said.
Councilman John Delgado, who also opposes the City of St. George, says there are too many questions that have not been answered and more time is needed to investigate those issues.
But, Councilman Chandler Loupe, who represents the area of the proposed city says this bill is taking aim at the elephant in the room.
The legislation would also suspend petitions to form cities if they were started in 2013. It would establish a special committee to review the policies of incorporation.
It's scheduled to be discussed by the Committee on Local and Municipal Affairs.
Should the legislation make it to the governor's desk, his staff said this about the proposal: "We're watching the bill through the process, but we will support the local community in their efforts to decide what's best for them."
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