It’s nice to see the Louisiana House of Representatives has its priorities in order, especially with the problems the state is facing. Starting at 4PM today it is set to debate HB 164 by State Rep. Jay Morris (R-Monroe) which would designate the Gulf fritillary, which is also known as the passion butterfly, to be the official state butterfly. It also authorizes the use of the butterfly along with the state insignia on all official state documents.
This is not to pick on Jay Morris, after all we did a lot of that last year. Instead, we’re actually grateful for those legislators who decide to chase their shiny objects in the session. The more time spent on things debating the state butterfly is less time spent on giving handouts to local and parish governments, increasing state spending, undermining Louisiana’s education reforms, and regulating businesses to death. The problem is when the Louisiana legislature decides to debate things of more consequence than the state butterfly. That usually never turns out well for the people of Louisiana.
Even better though is what the Louisiana Senate is doing right now. They’re not even set to meet until next Monday at 4PM. Given how anti-reform this current Senate is, that’s probably a very good thing. If they can just convince Governor John Bel Edwards to check out until sometime in 2020, that would be great.
Here’s our modest recommendation to the Louisiana legislature, stick to things like the state butterfly. If the legislature wants to debate the state flag, state flower, state song, state food, and every other state symbol; go for it. Have good, long, and passionate debates on them. If the legislature wants to write a state fight song, have at it.
If the legislature wants to deal with other topics than just state symbols, they should award medals and write commendations for Louisianians who do good things. Creating new speciality license plates and renaming roads and highways is also something this legislature should be good at.
Most importantly, they should stay away from anything that could actually impact the lives and property of Louisianians. Given their track record over the years, we would be much better off as a state.
UPDATE: Joe Cunningham tweeted this:
The Louisiana House of Representatives is busy discussing the state butterfly, which is the safest I've felt since the session began.
— Joe Cunningham (@JoePCunningham) March 23, 2016