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Head of Council for a Better Louisiana says legislators, Landry will find a balance eventually

1 month 2 days 15 hours ago Monday, May 20 2024 May 20, 2024 May 20, 2024 7:37 PM May 20, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE — While Gov. Jeff Landry has enjoyed a honeymoon with members of the Louisiana Legislature over the past four months, the day will come when the settles into its multi-branch system of government, according to the head of the Council for a Better Louisiana.

Landry became governor in January, and lawmakers have largely followed his agenda. They've balked, it appears, at gutting the state's open records law, but a proposal to bypass an independent panel's recommendations for the state Ethics Board passed a House committee Monday.

"Are we guaranteed that the next four years are going to be a game of whack-a-mole, where proposals come up and then the Legislature reacts?" Barry Erwin responded to a question at the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday. "At the end of the day, as things go along, the Legislature realizes that they are the Legislature and it is a multi-branch system of government and i think these balances begin to kick in."

Erwin's group, commonly known as CABL, monitors legislation and weighs in on what it thinks is good, or bad, for Louisiana. Erwin praised efforts to improve early childhood education.

"We all know a couple years ago we were highlighting the fact that our kids were doing so poorly in reading. They were actually going down," he said. "We made a bunch of changes in the last couple of years dealing with early literacy and we're starting to see some results there or it seems to me and that's very encouraging."

Louisiana was one of only three states to improve fourth-grade literacy scores during the pandemic. Most state's saw losses.

"What we're trying to do now is take some of those lessons learned from the early reading and apply those to early math," Erwin said.

As lawmakers consider whether to let public money follow children to private schools, under a proposal setting up "education savings accounts," Erwin said Louisiana should ensure that any money spent go first to those who would help the state grow its trained employment pool

"If we are just paying for kids who are already in a private school who are going to be fine, who are going to college, whatever, that doesn't expand the pool of kids that are going to get into the workforce," he said. "We want to help these kids who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to go all the way through that educational process."

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