Louisiana Democrats to Chair Five Committees in Republican-Majority State House

NEW ORLEANS – While Republicans last fall gained seats in Louisiana’s House of Representatives, the minority Democrats have gained a committee chair for the next term.

House Speaker Clay Schexnayder announced Democrats will chair five of the 14 committees. However, Republicans will lead the powerful committees that handle tax policy, the state budget and redistricting.

Every committee will have a Republican majority.

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Schexnayder, a Gonzales Republican, won his position when all the House Democrats voted for him while Republicans split their votes between Schexnayder and Rep. Sherman Mack, R-Albany. Mack received most of the Republican votes and was backed by many of the House’s most conservative members. The vote total was 60-45.

Rep. Jerome Zeringue, R-Houma, will chair the Appropriations Committee, which approves the state budget. Rep. Stuart Bishop, R-Lafayette, will be chairman of Ways and Means, leading the way on tax policy and state construction spending.

Rep. Stephen Dwight, R-Lake Charles, is chairman of House and Governmental Affairs, which will be in charge of redrawing the state’s political districts after the 2020 census.

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Most of the leadership positions were awarded to representatives who voted for Schexnayder in the speaker race. Rep. Lance Harris and Rep. Jack McFarland, both of whom supported Mack, will chair Retirement and Agriculture respectively.

Democrats will chair the following committees: Criminal Justice (Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge), Transportation (Rep. Vincent Pierre, D-Lafayette), Insurance (Rep. Chad Brown, D-Plaquemine), Judiciary (Rep. Randal Gaines, D-LaPlace), and Labor (Rep. Barbara Carpenter, D-Baton Rouge).

Read the full list here.

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