Picard, Koepp talk redistricting

by Walter Pierce

While Lafayette is unlikely to gain a state House seat all its own, the parish's robust growth over the last decade should increase our clout in the Legislature.

Tyron Picard, president of The Picard Group, a Lafayette/Washington, D.C., lobbying and government-relations firm, was joined Wednesday by state Senate Secretary Glenn Koepp to discuss the upcoming redistricting session that begins March 20 at the Capitol.

Part review of demographic information on Louisiana gleaned from the 2010 census and part prognostication on how newly drawn congressional, House, Senate and other elective districts in the state may look after the process, the event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel was part of The Independent Weekly Lecture Series sponsored by IberiaBank.

While both Koepp and Picard estimate that the Lafayette area will gain clout in the Legislature largely at the expense of the New Orleans metro area, which lost tens of thousands of residents following Hurricane Katrina, Picard says it's unlikely that Lafayette will gain a House seat entirely its own despite robust growth over the last decade. However, both agreed that nearby House districts are likely to expand into Lafayette due to the surplus of residents, which will increase the Hub City's representation in Baton Rouge.