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Trade, Transportation and Tourism.

LABI recognizes the direct correlation between a thriving business community and investing in a safe and sustainable transportation system. A modernized infrastructure system across all modes of transportation is paramount in fueling Louisiana’s economy, and LABI is focused on common sense policies and reforms geared to increase statewide productivity, enhance businesses’ ability to move their products across the nation, and remain globally relevant.  

LABI encourages the enactment and enforcement of state and federal laws and policies that promote long-term solutions to Louisiana’s transportation needs, free flow of national and international trade, and the state’s unique tourism attractions.

Major Issues.

Economic Expansion

LABI Position: Support criteria that increase the level of economic activity for businesses in LouisianaSupport strategic planning proposals that prepare the state’s infrastructure for rapid economic and industrial growth. Support increased state-level commitment to infrastructure investment, including preservation and maintenance for existing infrastructure, to promote economic growth.

Highway Priority Program

LABI Position: Support the use of objective criteria, including fostering economic development, to prioritize funding for state highway construction projects. Oppose allowing the Legislature to add or substitute projects in the final construction program.

Transportation Trust Fund

LABI Position:Support the integrity, adequacy and solvency of the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF)Encourage responsible and practical proposals that optimize the utilization of the monies dedicated to the TTFSupport allocation of any new transportation funding to the Construction Sub Fund to enhance accountability and ensure monies are only spent on project delivery costs.

Current Issues.

Air Transportation: Support the development of adequate air transportation facilities in Louisiana, including international air service.

Commercial Transportation: Oppose legislation that would unreasonably discriminate against or unduly burden free flow of commercial transportation, and support legislation to streamline or enhance the efficiency relative to administrative regulations.

Ports: Actively support the development and improvement of port facilities and/or services that enhance economic activities in Louisiana. Encourage initiatives that support global competitiveness of the state’s businesses.

Port Priority Program: Actively support the Port Priority Program in its endeavor to adequately fund port facilities in Louisiana relative to appropriate project priorities.

Trade: Support efforts that promote national and international trade opportunities for Louisiana businesses. Oppose legislation that restricts free trade.

Ongoing Policy.

Business Fees: Oppose fees and fee increases that exceed the cost of funding the programs for which they are assessed that would have a negative impact on trade, tourism or transportation.

Business Tax Burden: Oppose tax increases that would have a negative impact on trade, tourism or transportation.

Disaster Recovery: Work with local, state, and federal officials and regulatory agencies to enhance the economic recovery of trade, tourism, and transportation industries damaged by natural disasters.

Fiscal Transparency & Accountability: Support efforts to increase the transparency and accountability for DOTD operations and enhance public online access to planned project information to ensure efficient and responsible spending of taxpayer dollars. Support legislation to streamline and enhance efficiency relative to administrative operations. 

Flood Protection: Support regional flood protection oversight by boards nominated by and comprised of professionals.

Free Enterprise: Oppose any government restrictions that would make Louisiana businesses less competitive relative to businesses in other states.

International Tourism: Support continuation of tax-free shopping as an incentive to attract international tourists.

River Pilotage: Continue to promote and support the regulatory structure for pilotage with the overall objective of establishing safe, reliable, and cost-effective pilot service.

State Beautification: Support and encourage all reasonable efforts to eliminate litter in Louisiana, including anti-litter public campaigns and better enforcement of existing litter laws. Support and encourage state beautification efforts.

Tourism Promotion Funding: Support adequate revenues for the promotion of Louisiana’s unique tourism attractions, heritage and cuisine.


Mary Beth Hughes is Director of the Trade, Tourism, and Transportation Council. In this capacity, her responsibilities include enhancement of Louisiana’s international trade, tourism industry and infrastructure.


Mary Beth Hughes

Director, Trade, Tourism & Transportation Council, LABI
(225) 270-5255

John Doggett

Chair, Trade, Transportation & Tourism Council
Crest Operations, LLC