Although the 2019 legislative session that recently ended wasn’t as dramatic as other recent sessions, Teche Area legislators were still able to get important bills passed.
A few bills focused on Iberia Parish during the session, ranging from laws concerning board appointments to resolutions honoring local lawmakers.
Here are five pieces of legislation passed that dealt with Iberia Parish or residents of Iberia Parish.
1. Railroad Commission Appointments
House Bill No. 381, introduced by State Rep. Blake Miguez, R-Erath, lowered the standard of qualifications for the Vermilion and Iberia Railroad Development District 4 board.
The members of the board appointed by Vermilion and Iberia parishes no longer have to possess a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science, and the member appointed by the Twin Parish Port Commission and University of Louisiana at Lafayette no longer need a minimum five years experience at the management and operational level of a railroad company.
The bill was introduced this year after the board has had trouble recently finding a qualified person to serve, according to lawmakers.
2. Iberia Parish Hospital Service District Bill
A bill introduced by State Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, drastically changed the selection of Iberia Parish Hospital Service District No. 1 board members.
Senate Bill 92 deals with Iberia Parish Hospital Service District No. 1 and its method in determining board membership, term limits and other related matters.
The bill adds that those who serve on the board must be registered voters, residents and domiciled in the district. Seven members of the commission shall be appointed by the governing authority of Iberia Parish to serve four-year terms.
The two additional members were appointed by the governing authority of Iberia Parish, but that has now changed to the medical executive committee of Iberia Medical Center.
The bill also adds that no member of the board of commissioners shall serve more than three consecutive terms. However, service as a result of appointment or election to fill an unexpired term shall not be considered for such purposes.
3. Southern Mutual Help Association Recognition
Senate Resolution 58 commended a New Iberia-based non-profit organization for the good it’s done for Louisiana over the years.
Introduced by State Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, the resolution commended the Southern Mutual Help Association on “50 years of working for social and employment equality and refusing to surrender its dream of a country that lives up to the lofty aspirations of the Declaration of Independence and the preamble to the United States Constitution.”
4. Barras Honored for Service in State Legislature
With State Rep. and Speaker of the House Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, ending his tenure as a state lawmaker, the Louisiana Legislature paid tribute to the man with a resolution of gratitude for his service.
The resolution was meant to “express enduring gratitude for his outstanding contributions to the parishes of Iberia, Lafayette, and St. Martin, the House of Representatives, and the state of Louisiana, particularly during his tenure as a distinguished member and speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives.”
The resolution goes on to say that “Speaker Barras deserves special commendation for leading the House of Representatives through not only four regular sessions, but also seven extraordinary sessions, the highest number of special sessions in a term since the adoption of the Constitution of the State of Louisiana of 1974.”
5. Landry Recognized for Chamber Award
State Rep. Terry Landry, D-New Iberia, also was recognized for receiving the Living Legend Award from the Greater Southwest Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce at its 19th Annual Trailblazer & Scholarship Gala.
Senate Resolution 135 congratulated Landry on receiving the Living Legend Award from the Greater Southwest Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce,as well as recognized “his vital contributions and tireless dedication to the state of Louisiana,” extending him best wishes for continued success and happiness in all of his future endeavors.