We bet every single Louisianian of driving age has a story about our state’s terrible roads. At the very least, everyone can identify a street or bridge in desperate need of repair. As the Louisiana Coalition to Fix Our Roads, our mission is to address the state’s crumbling roads and their negative impact on our economy, safety, and way of life. The situation has reached crisis levels. Something HAS to be done—and SOON. A special session could help us start repairing our terrible infrastructure. But what exactly is a special session? How is it called, and how can it help?
How The Louisiana Legislature Works
Do you know how our state government works? You might remember your high school civics classes—or even those old Schoolhouse Rock videos. As both Americans and Louisianians, we proudly participate in elections for our state leaders. Our governors are elected every four years, and so are our legislators—in both the house and the senate. We have 105 state representatives and 39 state senators.
The Louisiana legislature meets at the state capitol each year for regular sessions. It can only address fiscal issues during odd-numbered years. That means they can’t talk about new revenue during the regular 2020 session, which is what is required to budget for bridges and road repairs! We can’t wait any longer to fix Louisiana’s issues. The answer is a special session—also called an extraordinary session. During special sessions, legislators can tackle the matters they can’t discuss during regular sessions.
How A Special Session Is Called
In 15 states, only the governor may call a special session. Louisiana is one of the 35 states in which the governor OR legislature can call a special session. They can occur at any time, and there are no limits on how many. To request a special session, a majority of each house’s members must present a written petition. Once called, it can last up to 30 days. Any proposed bills have to pertain to the proclaimed subject matter.
In the past, Louisiana’s special sessions addressed issues such as education or healthcare. Our roads are just as important. Healthcare doesn’t matter if we can’t drive on the roads to get to the doctor. Education is a great cause, but if our children can’t safely get to school, what’s the point? Our infrastructure is already a dire situation—and it’s only going to get worse. It’s time to FIX LOUISIANA’S ROADS.
How YOU Can Help
Remember how YOU elected our legislators and our governor? Elected officials work for us. It’s their job to listen to what their constituents want—and it’s our duty to tell them. You can take action through our website. We’ve created an easy-to-use form to send legislators a message to #FixLaRoads. Want to take it a step further? Look up your senators and representatives and give them a call. Tell them to petition for a special session to address the crumbling roads in Louisiana. The more often they hear from us, the better our chances will be.
Participate in our democracy, get your voice heard, and demand change! Louisiana’s roads are too important to ignore.