NEW ORLEANS -- Gov. Bobby Jindal’s legislative priorities are rather limited compared to last year, when he failed to get lawmakers to go along with his tax swap idea.
By contrast, this year Mayor Mitch Landrieu is swinging for the fences.
Jindal is pushing for better workforce development, tort reform and stronger action against human trafficking in the state. He is also asking lawmakers to limit the authority of the Eastbank Flood Protection Board, which is now suing the oil and gas industry.
Beyond that, his legislative agenda is rather limited.
“Not only in terms of tax reform, but education reform,” said Eyewitness News political analyst Clancy DuBos. “He just doesn’t seem to be as ambitious in terms of his legislative agenda as he was in prior years.”
Landrieu, a former state representative, is working with the New Orleans delegation on a wide range of bills.
Walter Leger has a bill to allow voters to approve additional property tax millages for police and fire protection.
“Make sure that we pay our police and fire fighters adequately,” said state Rep. Walter Leger III, D-New Orleans. “Make sure that we can cover the consent decree.”
Leger is also handling a Landrieu-backed bill to strengthen the city’s enforcement capability on nuisance, overgrown lots and blight abatement.
“This is another issue we’re having where that one piece of property tends to drag down the whole neighborhood,” Leger said. “He wants to get our neighborhoods whole.”
The Landrieu administration is also seeking firefighter pension reform, a long list of capital outlay projects and a consensus among legislators to streamline the city’s court system.
“All the studies show that clearly for Juvenile Court, they can easily do the job with four judges,” said state Rep. Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans. “We’re only asking for a two-judge reduction.”
DuBos said while some of the mayor’s proposals failed last year, he is hoping for better luck this session.
“The mayor is swinging for the fences,” he said. “When you swing for the fences, you might strike out more often than not, but when you do hit it, it’s a home run.”
The city is seeking money from the state to upgrade some police and fire stations and to renovate and restore the old charity hospital into a civic complex.