Representative Valarie Hodges
I want to thank each of you for allowing me to continue to serve District 64. When we entered the 2015 legislative session, we faced the toughest obstacle faced by an Louisiana Legislature - a $1.6 billion hole in our state budget. We knew reducing it would not be easy, and it wasn't. But we did it.
Some of our state colleges and universities faced a bad situation. Our hospitals would have to make serious cutbacks that would endanger patient care.
There were a lot of tough votes that had to be made, but we as a legislature agreed on cutting corporate welfare to big industries such as the film and solar industries to help shore up the budget.
We took steps to make some compromises in the contentious battle over Common Core State Standards. Both sides of the issue agreed on the development of Louisiana-based standards that are competitive with other states' standards. Tests that are comparable to those in other states will be developed so educators can assess if those standards are preparing our students for the future.
We also unanimously renewed the Comite River Diversion Canal Task Force, tackled the issue of marriage fraud, and created a task force to study the effects of illegal immigration in the budget of Louisiana and find some remedies.
The 2016 Legislative Session will prove to be another challenge as we embark on closing the $750 Million budget gap. The Legislative Session will begin on March 14th of 2016. Stay tuned for updates.
If you would like more information, please feel free to contact my office and we will be glad to assist you. You can find details of bills and videos of House committee and floor debate by visiting www.legis.state.la.us. If you need assistance in doing so, please call my office and we will be glad to help.
I consider it a pleasure and honor to serve as your voice at the Capitol. Please contact me if you have any concerns about things in our district and our state. Your input is important to me as we work together to build a stronger, more secure Louisiana and create a bright future for our children.
Valarie Hodges, Louisiana State Representative