BATON ROUGE, La. (May 31, 2017) — BRAC today released the following statement by BRAC President and CEO Adam Knapp following the inability of the Louisiana House of Representatives to pass legislation to address Louisiana’s significant transportation infrastructure challenges. The bill, HB 632 by Rep. Steve Carter, which fell short of garnering the support of two-thirds of members needed for passage, was withdrawn by the author without action.
“Given the crisis of congested and crumbling road conditions in the Capital Region and across the state, today’s failure to act on this issue by the House is deeply disappointing. In discussions with legislators, not a single one disagreed with the fact that the problems in Louisiana’s transportation infrastructure system are tremendous. Unfortunately, not enough of them were willing to demonstrate leadership on a solution. The consequence of that lack of leadership will be felt in fewer jobs created for their constituents and less economic growth for our state.
“BRAC is extremely grateful for the courage and conviction of Rep. Steve Carter in leading this effort and for the bipartisan support of about 60 other members of the House, especially the members of the House Ways and Means committee who put principle over politics and voted favorably on the bill. We also applaud the 35 chambers of commerce and business organizations who joined together in a business coalition to support this priority across Louisiana. Those legislators who actively worked to pass the bill will not be forgotten – nor will those who stood in its way or worked to defeat it.
“The priority of investment in transportation used to be a unifying issue on which Republicans and Democrats could agree, but the full legislative leadership is not there today to support transportation as a priority of the state. If unchanged, this new dynamic will be a real political problem for elected leaders in the coming years, and cause deep and lasting harm to Louisiana. This problem will not go away. In fact, it will now only get worse through further inaction. But BRAC will not go away quietly either, not until our region sees real action on meaningful solutions to this crisis.”