March 24th, 2023


Wow, just when you thought America had reached her limit on chaos! This week we witnessed a global banking scare, Donald Trump asserting that he would be arrested in a matter of days, and rain patterns that made even California believe in the plausibility of global flooding!

But what’s got Baton Rouge talking the most is Gretna Rep. Joe Marino’s proposal to raise legislative pay, asking his colleagues to vote an increase to their own salary, during an election year! 

The last attempt to do this was in 2008 when a controversial bill was introduced by the Louisiana legislature under the leadership of then Governor Bobby Jindal. The bill proposed an immediate increase in pay instead of gradual raises over time. The bill passed, but was later vetoed, leading to a messy situation.

La Politics editor Jeremy Alford, penned this column suggesting lawmakers should take the risk and increase legislative salaries (currently $16,800 per year) while they can. Gov. John Bel Edwards has been receptive in the past to the idea and his successor may not be.

Marino’s HB 149 would boost base pay to $60,000 beginning next term. Alford opines, “this moves the state in the right direction in terms of paying people what they’re worth, lawmakers may want to give more consideration to the timeline."

He rightly observes, Voters, for example, may be more willing to accept a legislative pay raise if the increase doesn’t apply to the next term of government. That would show the entire state that our sitting Legislature cares more about the institution than individuals.


Louisiana State Representative John Stefanski has proposed a new bill aimed at cracking down on the distribution of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that has been responsible for a growing number of overdose deaths in the state. The proposed legislation would impose harsh penalties on individuals convicted of fentanyl distribution, including lengthy prison sentences and large fines.

In a statement regarding the bill, Rep. Stefanski emphasized the importance of taking strong action to address the fentanyl epidemic. "It’s time that the consequences for creating and distributing fentanyl matches the violent damage it causes. The fentanyl crisis Louisiana is fighting knows no zip code, it knows no social class, gender or age. This toxic poison is stealing the lives of thousands of innocent Louisianans.”

If passed, Louisiana would have one of the harshest penalties for fentanyl distribution.

In other news Louisiana Senator John Kennedy grilled another of President Biden's judicial nominees during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. This time, Colorado Magistrate Judge Kato Crews stumbled when asked about the criminal law doctrine of a Brady motion, admitting he had never addressed it in his career and even confused it with the Second Amendment.

A Brady motion is a legal concept that came as a result of the landmark Brady v. Maryland Supreme Court decision in 1963, which held that the prosecution must hand over potentially favorable evidence to the defense.


Finally, in somewhat saner news: World Athletics has banned biological men who “identify” as women from competing in elite female competitions if they have gone through male puberty, the sport's governing body said Thursday.

Organization president Sebastian Coe said at a news conference that the decision by the World Athletics Council to exclude these athletes was based "on the overarching need to protect the female category."


Friends, don’t forget that we will host a time of  “Prayer at the Capitol” this Sunday in Baton Rouge at the Louisiana State Capitol! I would be honored for you to join me and so many others as we lift our state before the Lord, pray for the upcoming legislatives session and seek His will in the coming days!


In His Service,

Gene Mills
Louisiana Family Forum

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