Senator Louie Bernard: Special Session Begins Today

Members of the Louisiana Legislature head to Baton Rouge for the Special Legislative Session that starts today. It will be a 30 day session. The legislature called itself into session and the call lists 70 items for lawmakers to consider.

House Speaker Clay Schexnayder is quoted in a news release that the special session will focus on three main objectives:

1. Hurricane Laura disaster relief and recovery efforts
2. On-going issues with COVID-1 especially relative to funding and the economy
3. The state’s Unemployment Trust Fund.

Senator Louie Bernard told The Journal that he mostly agrees with Schexnayder that these are the priority items. He would add working to assure that the MFP formula for funding public education is kept in place. Bernard said, “My concern is that it should not be downgraded because there are fewer kids in school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are not in school right now, but they will be back, and we need to assure sound funding for education.

On the Unemployment Trust Fund, Bernard said it is low on funds and needs to be replenished. He added, “There are the Main Street and the Front Line Worker programs that have not spent all the funds allocated to them. This might possibly be an option for the Unemployment Trust Fund. It’s something we will probably look at.”

Bernard cautioned, “The call contains 70 items and that is too much. We would be better off focusing on things that we can do in 30 days.” Below is the proclamation calling for the special session and the 70 items that are included. Senator Bernard said, “When we put too many things in the call it makes it cluttered and makes it too hard to get everything done.”

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