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Legislative session begins in Baton Rouge

2 years 4 months 1 week ago Monday, March 14 2022 Mar 14, 2022 March 14, 2022 7:00 PM March 14, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - As we enter the 2022 legislative session, democrats and republicans will fight tooth and nail over a surplus of money.

More than $3 billion is up for grabs, and Governor John Bel Edwards wants to spend most of it on education and infrastructure.

"It all adds up to a historic opportunity to transform our state through pivotal investments in every level of education, infrastructure projects that for decades have been pipe dreams, long overdue pay raises for some of our most dedicated workers and combating the effects of climate change. We have a once in a generation opportunity to shape our future," Edwards said in his opening remarks. 

The infrastructure priority is good news for the long-awaited new Mississippi River Bridge.

"Not only did the governor propose $500 million to go to it, which will take a lot of negotiating to keep that in place or at least a large portion of that, but we also have an opportunity to go back with the infrastructure bill that was passed last year and tweak some things in a way that will allow us to better draw down federal funds that will now be available through the federal infrastructure package that was passed," Senator Rick Ward said.

Though Ward says it may be another year or two before we see actual progress on a new bridge.

Another hot topicwhat to do with the governor's veto on the proposed congressional redistricting plan. Senator Cleo Fields wants to go back to the drawing board instead of overriding it.

"That's the smartest thing to do. I think it's the wisest thing to do, and anything short of that would be unwise," Fields said. 

Will it be more money more problems? Or will legislators be able to come together and solve some of the state's most pressing issues?

"It's not an exaggeration to say that the choices that will be made in this session over the next three months will have a lasting legacy for the state. We have to get this right," Edwards said.  

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