Jeremy Alford

La. Legislature: Out of the office

by Jeremy Alford

Just a perfect day,
Problems all left alone,
Weekenders on our own.
It’s such fun.
—Lou Reed, “Perfect Day” (1972)

There are only six days remaining in the regular session — a normally-hectic time for lawmakers — but you couldn’t tell that by visiting the State Capitol today. That’s because both the House and Senate have taken the day off, despite the more than 120 bills still pending final passage in the two chambers. Moreover, lawmakers have yet to coalesce around a game plan to address the state’s $1.3 billion shortfall.

Of course, there’s always tomorrow. Scratch that; the House and Senate have decided against working on Saturday as well. For now, lawmakers are scheduled to reconvene Sunday afternoon, which, in all fairness, will be a great sacrifice since it’s Father’s Day. Nonetheless, there’s still time left and the session doesn’t have to end until Thursday, June 15, at exactly 6 p.m., but who’s counting, eh?

As for the rest of this week, lawmakers kept busy. Mostly. For instance, here’s a quick recap of what went down in the Senate.

Monday, June 15:

With nary a peep about helmet laws, SR 106 by Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Maringouin, was approved. It commended motorcycle riders and recognized June 15 as the “Annual Ride To Work Day.”

Tuesday, June 16:

In a heartfelt move, lawmakers approved SR 101 by Sen. Francis Thompson, D-Delhi, commending Lawrence K. Van Hoose Sr. and Myra Van Hoose for their support of the American Heart Association. Of course, the resolution also designated June 16 as their official “Day at the Louisiana Senate,” but that doesn’t mean they were afforded the same sweet deals on LSU tickets senators currently enjoy.

Not to be outdone, Senate President Joel Chaisson, D-Destrehan, passed SR 109 also declaring June 16 as “Boys and Girls Clubs of America Louisiana Alliance Day,” proving each day is different — quite literally — in the Upper Chamber.

Wednesday, June 17:

The week hit a high point when Sen. Dan Moorish, R-Jennings, (who has the sweetest nickname in the entire Legislature: Blade!), passed his SCR 108 recognizing June 17 as “Southern Bar-B-Que Sauce Day.” Insert your own finger-licking joke here:_______________.

Thursday, June 18:

The four-day work week went out with a bang with SR 111 by Sen. Buddy Shaw, R-Shreveport, which labeled June 18 as “Louisiana Music Day.” For the patriotic among us, there’s this paragraph from the resolution, which sets a nice tone for the weekend:

Emerge into the amazing Acadiana communities _ Lafayette, Crowley, Thibodaux, Ville Platte, Opelousas, Eunice _ magic places where the tone transforms into music so original it has its own names _ ‘Zydeco, Cajun, Swamp-Pop’ _ sounds with such compelling energy you can only begin to dance, sing and whirl to the rhythm and beat that echoes on over to the Lake Charles region where the union of Cajun, Country and Blues takes a turn back up our western border to the north and meets itself coming back, circling throughout the center of Alexandria and swirling through all parishes north and south and in between, portraying a blended state of beautiful musical people like nowhere else on Earth.