Like many of you, we are disappointed and frustrated by the Governor’s delay to restart and open our economy. His blanket refusal to even consider a regional or parish specific approach to lifting his ban is dumbfounding.
The Governor’s stubbornness is going to destroy our already struggling economy. When that happens, it will devastate the lives, hopes, and dreams of countless families in our state.
The data clearly shows each parish is affected by COVID-19 differently. Over 40% of parishes have under 100 total cases reported. Even President Trump’s expert, Dr. Deborah Birx, called on Governors to examine a parish-by-parish reopening.
According to the Louisiana Department of Health, almost 30,000 Louisianans battled COVID-19, while 350,000 lost their jobs in the economic shutdown. We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem. A solution is possible that protects lives and provides for a responsible and meaningful restart to our economy.
Louisiana has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, with roughly 20% of our state’s eligible workforce currently out of work. Now, surrounding states are reopening for business, leaving Louisiana further behind.
The irony that Texas’s Governor is lifting restrictions on Louisiana visitors, while our own Governor keeps us locked down is stunning!
The Governor’s “one size fits all” approach is not sustainable. For six weeks, the people of Louisiana listened to the Governor. Now it’s time for the Governor to hear from them. They’re saying loud and clear… more government control is NOT the solution. Over twelve thousand citizens signed the OpenLaNow.com petition in the first five days asking the Governor to follow the President’s plan. Their voices matter!
Louisianan’s are smart, resilient, and responsible people. We should trust them to make the right decisions for themselves and their families.
Under the leadership of President Cortez and Speaker Schexnayder, your legislators are returning to Baton Rouge next week, ready to work for as long as it takes to get our state moving again. There will be social distancing and safety precautions that change the “normal” ways of conducting state business. There will be long days, weekends, and special sessions. There will be new challenges and unexpected hurdles. But the legislature will be open and working – and Louisiana businesses should be allowed to do the same.
We will pass a conservative budget that reflects our current reality. We will provide much-needed oversight of the Executive Branch. We will work to solve kitchen table problems by cutting insurance costs for working families. Standing up our struggling oil economy and protecting energy jobs will be a top priority.
We will fight to save every single job and work to rebuild the careers lost to the COVID shutdown. Because each job lost is a family struggling and Louisiana can’t afford to wait any longer to get things moving.
It’s time to make Louisiana work again.
Senator Sharon Hewitt, Chairwoman
Louisiana Senate Republican Caucus
Representative Blake Miguez, Chairman
Louisiana House Republican Caucus