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Legislative-priorities

Legislative Priorities.

Current Session Issues

Following a historic election season, the 2020 Legislature takes office with 65 new members. Many new legislators campaigned on issues of importance to the Louisiana business community, including lowering auto insurance rates, simplifying the tax code, and growing a skilled workforce. LABI looks forward to working with elected officials this year to strengthen our economy and promote opportunity Louisiana.

 

In 2020, LABI will urge the Governor and Legislature to prioritize major initiatives to grow Louisiana's economy and create jobs, specifically:

  • Improve the legal system to level the playing field, lower the nation's highest auto insurance rates, and be more competitive with other states;
  • Simplify and modernize the tax code to incentivize private-sector investment; and
  • Overhaul the state's workforce development system to better prepare students and adults for high-wage, high-demand jobs.

 

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Health Care

LABI encourages a cost-effective, competitive health care market as an incentive to economic growth, while assuring that consumers in Louisiana continue to receive high-quality, accessible and affordable health care.

LABI opposes the adoption of a single-payer, government-run health care system and takes an active role in public policy that would affect health care costs and outcomes, an employer's right to contract, or an employer's flexibility to determine and provide employee benefits.

Recognizing the importance of the health care industry to Louisiana's economic development, LABI supports creative iniatives to grow a qualified allied health workforce and strong in-state capacity for medical research.

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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.

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Technology

Over the last 20 years, technology has drastically changed the way we live, work and socialize; and it will continue to rapidly evolve in the future. Innovations and technological advancements stimulate our economy, improve workplace training programs and make it easier for businesses to deliver goods and services to the ever-expanding marketplace.

In this new digital world, the relationship between technology developers and the businesses that rely on their products to operate is vital. It is important for businesses to partner with academic research and development institutions to help speed up the commercialization of budding technologies so these advancements can be brought to the marketplace more quickly.

The council will actively support technology policies that improve the strength and competitiveness of Louisiana businesses and industries in the global marketplace.

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Taxation and Finance

LABI will actively work for the enactment of fiscal policies that promote a stronger state economy, with a focus on private sector job creation. Businesses in Louisiana pay a disproportionate share of the tax burden as compared with other states. This places our state at a significant disadvantage in the competition for business investment and the jobs it creates. LABI will promote constructive reforms that ensure our state’s economic development while securing sufficient revenues for appropriate government services at both the state and local levels.

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Small Business

The small business community in Louisiana plays a vital role in Louisiana’s economy. Growth will greatly depend on maintaining a healthy industrial base coupled with a thriving small business community. More than 75% of LABI’s membership is comprised of small businesses with fewer than 100 employees. LABI recognizes the concerns of small business and over the growing risk of liability associated with routine business operations and governmentally imposed costs and regulations.

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Governmental Reform

LABI encourages the enactment and enforcement of state laws and policies that are honest, fair, transparent and responsible, allowing all citizens to participate in electoral and governmental processes. 

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Environmental Quality

LABI’s goal is to protect and improve the environment while maintaining a strong economic base.

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Energy

LABI represents energy producing, transporting and consuming industries. We will continue to support energy policies that will promote high-paying jobs in this industry that help our resilient service companies thrive. We oppose the abusive litigation that has directly contributed to this sector’s decline and will delay and/or derail its recovery. We promote production of all forms of energy at competitive prices, opposing increased unreasonable taxes and fees on energy sources, encouraging conservation of resources, and balancing environmental concerns with energy production and usage.

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Employee Relations

The Employee Relations Council will support efforts to make Louisiana’s workers’ compensation (WC) system more balanced and less costly. In most other respects, Louisiana’s employment laws are generally viewed as employer friendly when compared to other states. Unfortunately, each session, bills are filed to expose employers to lawsuits from their employees and/or restrict employers’ ability to manage their workers efficiently and productively. This year will be no different, and LABI will once again be ready to defend against such legislative intrusion in the workplace.

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Education and Workforce Development

Years of state commitment to education reform are now yielding positive results in Louisiana. Graduation rates are improving, along with ACT scores, and the achievement gap continues to lessen. There are more opportunities for school choice than most other states in the nation, and traditional public schools are responding to competition with additional course offerings such as Course Access and more relevant technical training in high school through programs such as JumpStart.

The challenge remains great. Our state still lags in national rankings of student readiness, and likely will continue to do so as standards and assessments are slowly but methodically raised to be more competitive with other states. Education and jobs are the paths out of poverty, and Louisiana’s citizens deserve a high-quality education and the opportunity to prosper. LABI will continue to advocate for students, taxpayers and employers to connect a more skilled workforce with high-wage, high-demand jobs in a 21st century economy.

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Civil Justice Reform

2020 is the year for civil justice reform in Louisiana. During the 2019 election cycle, Louisiana voters chose legislators that made a public commitment to improving the legal climate and lowering auto insurance costs. This year, LABI will lead a coalition to bring reform to the legal system – addressing the collateral source rule, lowering the jury trial threshold, ending direct action, and repealing the seat belt gag rule, among others. In addition to targeted measures to stabilize the auto insurance market, LABI will support broad legal reforms to limit coastal and legacy lawsuits, improve venue requirements, address harmful deceptive advertising, and inject more judicial transparency. The problem has been many years in the making, but LABI and our member companies believe the time for solutions is now.

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