St. Charles Herald-Guide

Session should stick to recovery, insurance needs

By Allen Lottinger - December 6, 2006

Many believe Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s call for a special legislative session beginning Friday to be premature and an opportunity to give away Christmas gifts from the state government. Hopefully that will not be the case.

We certainly need some action on the part of the legislative and administrative branches in the form of hurricane recovery efforts and attention to insurance needs so people can continue to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Other items of need can wait for the regular legislative session in the spring when legislators will not be in a hurry to get home for Christmas.
In the special session, they should concentrate just on those items that cannot wait for attention. They should vote nay on any consideration of other items that may be forced on the agenda.

We are sure there will be many segments of state government at the session lobbying for pay raises and some of them would be well deserved. But there is a time for everything and the week before Christmas is not the right time for that.

After all, pay raises are not Christmas presents. We know, the big $1.7 billion surplus is there waiting for the governor and legislature to express their generosity.

But there are many problems facing our state that should not be addressed in this special session. We need to wait for a comprehensive plan that will put that money to its best use.