“The 2014 session of the Louisiana Legislature, which ended Monday, did little things, but on the big issues, the three-month session mostly will be remembered for what didn’t happen.”
While the city of Seattle makes headlines for adopting a $15 per hour minimum wage, and states around the U.S. raised their wages in the wake of the President’s State of the Union call for a raise in the minimum wage, here in Louisiana, the Legislature turned its backs on the workers most in need of a raise.
At the start of the Legislative session in March, we noted that there were 17 minimum wage-related bills pre-filed in the state House and Senate. None made it out of committee. Despite the efforts of the sponsoring legislators (kudos to Reps. Herbert Dixon, Jared Brossett, and Marcus Hunter and Sen. Ben Nevers for zealous efforts to raise wages in the state), not a single bill got out of committee, and not a single Republican lawmaker voted in favor of any effort to raise the wage. Even efforts to put the matter before the people failed to get a full hearing in the Legislature.
The 2014 Legislative session has been described as particularly lacking in accomplishment. It was especially so for the interests of low wage workers. As one legislative session ends and we look forward to state elections in 2015, one thing is certain, we have a lot of work to do.