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Legislative leadership to hold press conference on House Bill 1, the State Operating Budget

BATON ROUGE, LA – Legislative leadership announced today, that they will hold a press conference regarding HB 1, the state’s operating budget, and funding for teacher pay raises. Speaker of the House, Clay Schexnayder, Senate President Page Cortez, State Representative Jerome Zeringue, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, and Senator Bodi White, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, will gather Monday to discuss how this additional funding came to be, and how it will be allocated to fully fund teacher pay raises.
Senate President Cortez explained, “During the recent pandemic, other than health care workers, our teachers were among those most affected. Through this additional funding, we have an opportunity to show our appreciation for what they do, continuing our efforts to always make them a priority within the budget.”
Senator White echoed the President’s thoughts saying, “After meeting with legislative leadership from both chambers and various members of the legislature, we thought it was important to more than double the governor’s pay raise proposal. Most teachers worked through the pandemic and continued educating our kids through this crisis. We felt it was important to recognize their commitment with a $1,000 increase for teachers and a $500 increase for the support workers.”
Governor Edwards has made teacher pay raises and funding for education a clear measure of importance during this legislative session, and putting this funding toward pay raises for teachers, that does not negatively effect funding toward other areas of the state is a huge milestone.
Chairman of the Appropriations committee, Rep. Zeringue said, “We were able to find dollars appropriated for the funding of the MFP, in addition to savings within the budget, and rather than provide this funding to additional services, we chose to support the teachers. We have $4 billion in federal funding coming in to backfill additional education requests made by BESE, and now we can work to get this funding where it is truly needed. We have worked diligently on getting the state to a better place, fiscally, and that work is paying off. We can now move forward in supporting our education system and our teachers.”
            House Speaker Clay Schexnayder said, “Each year we strive to address the funding issues around our state, and we keep those areas of most importance at the forefront, best we can. Education is one area we know needs our attention, and with this funding, we can finally start to fill requests. Our teachers are the pillars of our education system, and its time we give them the pay raises they need.”
           The public and media are encouraged to attend Monday’s press conference to gain more insight and information about this funding, and about how the Legislature plans to tackle budget topics this year.
           The House Appropriations Committee will meet Monday, May 3, at 9:00 am, with HB 1 on the agenda for debate. The HB 1 press conference will be held Monday, May 3, prior to both chambers convening, at 1:30 pm, in Memorial Hall.