I am proud to announce that I have been elected as Chairman of the Louisiana State Senate Democratic Caucus. Because of my past helping the community in the public realm, I have no doubt that I will be an asset to assist my fellow party members and to serve my state well. Thank you so much to the Louisiana Democratic Caucus for entrusting me with this new role.
Gov. John Bel Edwards Outlines Priorities for $1.6 Billion in American Rescue Plan Funding in Louisiana
BATON ROUGE — Gov. John Bel Edwards today outlined his plan for spending $1.6 billion in federal funding coming to Louisiana through President Joseph R. Biden’s American Rescue Plan to keep Louisiana on the road to post-pandemic recovery by investing in infrastructure, keeping the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund solvent, addressing Louisiana’s aging water systems, assisting the tourism industry and supporting Louisiana’s ports.
The state is awaiting final federal guidance on spending these ARP dollars. The $1.6 billion represents the first amount of funding Louisiana will draw down, with additional funding being used to address long-term priorities in future years.
“At our COVID-19 bottom, Louisiana’s economy was generating about 86 percent of our pre-virus economic output. Today, we’re back to more than 94 percent of pre-COVID levels, and growing. There is no doubt that Louisiana is on the mend, but we still need some help in order to make a full recovery. By investing these American Rescue Plan dollars wisely, we can shore up our unemployment insurance trust fund and avoid businesses paying higher taxes, continue to chip away at Louisiana’s backlog of infrastructure projects, support our tourism industry and improve our aging water infrastructure,” Gov. Edwards said. “I am deeply grateful to President Biden for his commitment to helping Louisiana kickstart its economy again after the crushing blow dealt to our country by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“I’m so thankful the Governor recognizes the importance of tourism and supports our efforts to reignite the state’s fourth largest industry,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “As every destination on the globe fights for potential visitors, these funds will give us the means to advertise and market our great state during a time of unprecedented competition. We want Louisiana to stand out from the crowd as a top travel destination.”
Governor Edwards’ priorities for the first $1.6 billion in funding are:
- Shoring up the Unemployment Trust Fund – $400 million
- Unemployment Insurance loan payment – $230 million
- Infrastructure – $400 million
- Water and Sewer Systems – $300 million
- Tourism and Convention and Visitors Bureaus – $125 million
- Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism – $20 million
- Louisiana Ports – $50 million
With New Tools to Fight the Spread of COVID-19, Local Leaders and Businesses Now in Charge of Policies Requiring Masks in Louisiana
BATON ROUGE — Following months of sustained improvement in COVID hospitalizations and an increase in the supply and availability of vaccines, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that some mitigation measures will be eased and, starting Wednesday, April 28, the statewide mask mandate will be lifted.
Mask policies in Louisiana will be set by local leaders and business owners. Under the Governor’s new public health order, masks will still be required on public transit and in state government buildings, K-12 schools, early childhood education centers, colleges and universities, and healthcare facilities.
More than one in four Louisianans are now fully vaccinated, including two-thirds of those 65 and older. The state of Louisiana joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal and medical officials in recommending that people wear masks in public or when they are with unvaccinated people outside of their households.
All Louisianans 16 and older have been eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine for more than a month and Louisiana was one of the first states to broaden vaccine eligibility to the full population. The three safe and effective COVID vaccines are widely available in Louisiana.
“Many Louisianans have been wearing masks for more than a year now and the statewide mask mandate has been in place for nearly 10 months. We know masks work – the science is clear and we’ve seen the positive impact in our own state. It’s intuitive for people to protect themselves with masks in higher risk situations, and this important mitigation measure should continue. But we have many more tools for slowing the spread of COVID than we did even a few months ago, including better treatments and, most importantly, several highly effective and safe vaccines,” Gov. Edwards said. “I want to be clear: this is not the end of wearing masks in public, as COVID-19 and the spread of variants are still a real threat in our communities. Louisianans should respect each other and businesses and places where masks will be required as we move into a new phase of slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. I will continue to wear a mask in government buildings and in public, especially when I do not know if someone around me has been vaccinated, and I encourage everyone to do this as well.”
The order the Governor signed Tuesday also eases restrictions on live music and allows some businesses, like salons, to re-open their waiting areas. Outdoor events will no longer have crowd limitations.
Social distancing and masking are recommended by both the state of Louisiana and the CDC.
Lifting of the mask mandate does not affect the COVID-19 liability protections that were enacted by the Louisiana Legislature which require businesses and schools to follow the recommendations of state and federal health authorities, all of which recommend continued mask wearing.
For theaters, event spaces, festivals and fairs and other outdoor events, there will be no limitations on outdoor capacity. Indoors, a facility may choose to operate at 75 percent capacity while enforcing six feet of social distancing or at 100 percent capacity with masking required and enforced.
For indoor sporting events, capacity is limited to 75 percent of capacity with social distancing, or 100 percent capacity if a mask mandate is enforced at the venue. Capacity will not be limited outdoors.
For live music, new regulations will require 10 feet of space between the stage and the audience and crowds must be seated. Bars will still only be open to those 21 and older.
State agencies may choose to opt-out of the mask mandate for state-owned buildings in writing to the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and also must inform people entering the building that masks are not mandatory. All state agencies in the Governor’s cabinet and under the Governor’s authority will keep their mask mandates.
The Department of Health additionally will issue a state health officer order that will mandate masks in all health care facilities.
- Click here to read the Governor’s executive order. Additional details for businesses about COVID-safe operations are posted on OpenSafely.la.gov.
The Louisiana Department of Health recommends that the public follow the “Two out of Three” rule to keep themselves safe during COVID.
When in doubt about whether to wear a mask at a certain activity where people outside of a person’s everyday household will be present, they can stay safe by:
- Making sure everyone around them is vaccinated, or
- Maintaining the 2 out of 3 Rule: To lower risk for COVID-19, make sure the activity meets two out of the following three conditions: Outdoors, Distanced and Masked.
- Outdoors + Distanced = No Mask Recommended
- Outdoors + Not Distanced = Mask Recommended
- Indoor + Distanced = Mask Recommended
Residents can call the Bring Back Louisiana COVID-19 vaccine hotline at 1-855-453-0774 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. The hotline can help residents schedule vaccine appointments, find vaccine providers in their area and connect people with medical professionals who can answer vaccine-related questions.
There are several Covid-19 vaccine events happening locally in the coming week. I encourage each and every Louisianan to join me in getting vaccinated to fight the spread of Covid. Please read the images below to find an event in your area, and take the family with you while you’re at it!
Please check each flier carefully for information on dates, location, times, sign-up information, and which vaccine you will be receiving at that particular event. Each location/event is different, so please be aware when making your plans and appointments that you are choosing the correct one for you.
Earlier this week, Governor Edwards announced that Sunday, March 14th will be declared as a Day of Prayer and Remembrance for those Louisianans who lost their lives to Covid-19. In Louisiana alone, we have lost 9,812 lives to Covid-19. While the vaccine is being distributed around the state and new groups become eligible each few weeks, we still need to stay vigilant to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
Please join me in taking this Sunday to remember the lives of those we have lost over the course of this past year, as well as praying for the families who lost loved ones in this time.
Below is the official announcement from the Governor.
Today, March 9, 2021 Governor Edwards announced that there is a new phase of eligibility requirements to get the Covid-19 vaccine. This new phase includes ages 18 and up individuals to receive the vaccine if they meet certain criteria listed below. I encourage you to take the vaccine if you are eligible to protect your family, friends, and those around you.
Below is a flier from the Louisiana Department of Health that lists the eligibility requirements.
Visit this link to see if you are eligible, where you can get vaccinated, and other Covid-19 vaccination news.
In the spirit of providing full transparency to my community, I am proud to announce that I have received the Covid-19 vaccination.
I strongly encourage those who are eligible to be vaccinated, to do so as soon as possible. There are many opportunities to sign up to make an appointment to receive the vaccine. You can refer to my Facebook page, the Louisiana Department of Health, and local hospitals for updates on vaccination sites in our area.
If you have any questions regarding the Covid-19 vaccine, please visit this link.
Located below is a flyer from Ochsner Lafayette with March, April, and May dates for vaccines and their locations.
These vaccines are by appointment only, so please go to OchsnerLG.org/MyCovidVaccine to schedule today.
Stay vigilant, and stay strong.
– Senator Boudreaux
Saturday, March 6th
8 a.m. – Noon
Location: Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church
818 12th Street
Lafayette, LA 70501
The months of April & May
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Martin Luther King Recreation Center
309 Cora St. (Inside of Dorsey Park)
Lafayette, LA 70501
Senator Gerald Boudreaux’s statement on the recent action of the Library Board of Control
First, I want to commend Mrs. Teresa Elberson on an outstanding professional career spanning over thirty-eight (38) years. Her service in the Lafayette Parish Library System has been duly noted and greatly appreciated.
I also want to applaud and commend Dr. Joseph Savoie and the entire faculty at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Their timely assistance in coordinating the transfer of the “Conversation on the history of voting in the United States” from the Lafayette Public Library where the board has chosen politics over our people, culture and history. I witnessed the work of Dr. Jean Kreamer, Mrs. Sonya Branch, Ms. Sona Dombourian, Andrew Duhon and so many others as they elevated our library system to one of the most respected by all in the State of Louisiana.
The actions, comments and decision by the Library Board of Control in rejecting a community grant to have a discussion of past voting rights issue is incomprehensible. The question was raised as to the other side being represented and part of the discussion. The college professors who worked with the professional library staff indicated in the approved proposal that the entire spectrum would be covered in the discussions/presentations. Allow me to answer the question, the other side falls in the category of “Jim Crow Laws” and the “KKK”. I agree we do need to discuss the other side, as history has proven that if we ignore the past we will be doomed to relive those dark days. Many members of the community and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette have answered the call to negate the intentions of a few political appointments. Remember, we are talking about a $2,700.00 grant to have a conversation about past Voter Suppression in the United States. The November 2020 elections are over and have been validated by Congress and the Supreme Court. We must move on as a community and a country!
The negative comments and actions are destructive and this rhetoric contributes to chaos, confusion and events that divide instead of uniting our community and country. It serves to incite actions that are not consistent with the theme of Unity. Individuals appointed to boards and commissions must make decisions based on facts and input from the citizens that are impacted by the programs.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gerald Boudreaux
State Senator Gerald Boudreaux and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Faith Community will dedicate a memorial area, bless white flags and pray for the members of our community that have died from the COVID-19 Pandemic. The ceremony will be held on Sunday, January 31, 2021, at the church located at 818 – 12th Street beginning at 12:45 p.m. All attendees are requested to wear a mask follow social distancing guidelines.
Senator Gerald Boudreaux’s Statements on the January 6, 2021 Incident at the Capitol
I have intentionally waited one week before I responded to the horrific INSURRECTION that took place at our nation’s Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Every family has an impactful experience and/or story from 2020, which will go down in history as a dark and difficult year. As we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been the cause of over 390,000 deaths in our country, some leaders found comfort in politicizing an election that was decided over a month ago. As a result of their negligence, five more people died after being coerced to gather, attack and destroy our nation’s Capitol, our symbol of DEMOCRACY. This mass delusionary event was violent with deadly consequences and will be fully investigated by our federal authorities.
I want to commend Senator Bill Cassidy for his fortitude and leadership, with all of the chaos in our country he followed his moral compass which places people above party and politics. For those who are leaders and engineered, recruited and remained complicit as this INSURRECTION took place, their day of reckoning will come. They are now attempting to backslide and backtrack but they will be held accountable for their actions and their words. Our country has been divided for years and “denial” has been the order of the day. Our deficit has skyrocketed out of control and those fiscal hawks of the past have remained silent. We cannot have it both ways. We have allowed the rhetoric to get out of control. Now when the INSURRECTION happens, we attempt to condone the false truths but denounce the violence. They are one in the same and you cannot extinguish a fire that you started by pouring gasoline on the deck.
The Double standard and misleading dialogue by those we empower must come to an end. I have said previously that those of us who has received the vote and trust of the electorate; must serve, lead, or get the hell out of the way. How many more dark days must we endure with the hypocrisy and labeling of hard working citizens as socialists, patriot or any other title? Let us be defined by our actions and our ability to unite and not divide. To serve and not destroy DEMOCRACY.
Pope Francis speaks of service on a regular basis. Let us pray that our leaders project an image that allows all of us to follow with Christian values at all times, even when we experience defeat. For we know in Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
As we continue the transition of power at the federal level, let us reflect on our state and our community. How can we return the honor and dignity of DEMOCRACY? How do we incorporate the Beatitudes in our healing process? Remember the Beatitudes teach us how to “be peace,” not just be at peace, but to become that instrument of peace so that it can positively impact the quality of life for all of our citizens.
I will join my prayers with yours as we transition in the next chapter of life in this country; the rhetoric must stop for the healing to take place. God bless America, God bless Louisiana, and may God bless our elected leaders as we celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday weekend and the upcoming inauguration ceremonies.