Today, the Pelican Institute released its Get Louisiana Working Policy Solutions. This plan outlines reforms to key public policy areas to encourage the return of jobs and opportunity and to strengthen the state’s economy following the destruction resulting from COVID-19 and measures taken to address it.
The Pelican Institute is also calling on state leaders to act boldly and remove as many barriers to opportunity as possible to ensure Louisianans can get back to work quickly and safely. The Get Louisiana Working Policy Solutions cover several critical policy areas in the state, including: simplifying Louisiana’s tax code; structural reforms to ensure the state can live within its means, which will be especially important given the coming influx in federal funding; ending lawsuit abuse; licensing and regulatory reform; modernizing transportation and infrastructure; encouraging growth in Louisiana’s technology sector; and ensuring recently incarcerated citizens are Re-entry Ready.
While the Get Louisiana Working Policy Solutions will help the state rebound from the damages inflicted by COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown of the state economy, the Pelican Institute notes these fixes were needed prior to the dual crises. In March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February 2020 was 5.2 percent, more than half a point higher than February 2019 and the highest rate in the south outside of Mississippi.
Daniel Erspamer, chief executive officer at the Pelican Institute, said the current crisis facing the state makes the need for addressing these areas more urgent and critical than ever.
“Louisianans from every walk of life were already suffering before the pandemic hit our shores, and now, we’ve reached a true crisis point,” Erspamer said. “If we don’t take bold action to unleash job creation and clear away barriers to opportunity today, real recovery will be out of reach for too many families. This is the reality we’re dealing with, and the time to act is now.”
The Pelican Institute is also working on policy solutions to specifically address issues with Louisiana’s education system and challenges parents, students, and educators are currently experiencing. The separate, education-focused plan will be released in the next few weeks.
The Pelican Institute will spend the coming days, weeks and months working with lawmakers on solutions to the mounting problems facing the state. The organization will also continue to call on innovators, entrepreneurs and policy makers from every corner of the state and nation to Get Louisiana Working.