Legislative update given by Rep. Bourriaque

By Jeffra Wise DeViney

Representative Ryan Bourriaque was present at the Cameron Parish Police Jury meeting held on
Wednesday, Aug. 16, to provide an annual legislative report to the Jury, staff, and members of the public in attendance. The items touched on included homeowner’s and flood insurance, coastal projects, and state funding allocated to the Parish during the session.

The 2023 Legislative Session saw nearly 900 bills filed for consideration. There were 29 constitutional amendments and 723 resolutions and study requests. This does not account for the number of amendments offered by members in either the House or Senate on the floor or in committee. Rep. Bourriaque mentioned that for this term his committee appointments were Vice-Chairman of Natural Resources, Ways & Means, and Agriculture.

The insurance discussion included a status update on the Louisiana Fortified Roof Program which has $20 million appropriated by the Legislature this past session. This program has seen some success in Alabama with reducing homeowner’s insurance costs and eventual claims by providing a $10,000 grant to the homeowner to stabilize their roofs.

Progress has been made on the $45 million Incentive Program which entices new insurance carriers to begin writing in Louisiana. The program had eight companies who are participating. Southwest Louisiana has not seen the same amount of policies being adopted due to the fact that companies are focusing on more heavily populated areas in southeast Louisiana in the early stages of the program.

Rep. Bourriaque referenced the “One Foot Above Freeboard” rule implemented by the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council. This will effect the entire state of Louisiana. Concerns from Rep. Bourriaque as well as the Police Jury centered mainly on the fact that local Parishes can already adopt this change with a resolution. No legislation was passed by the legislature, rather, an administrative order was provided by the LSUCCC. Rep. Bourriaque committed to looking into the issue prior to the upcoming session.

Rep. Bourriaque referenced the ongoing progress being made in the coastal protection sector for the Parish. Currently, our region has four members of the Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority. During Bourriaque’s first term, he worked with a conference committee which made the change and allowed for an increase to the one-member west of Morgan City prior to the change. The Cameron Gulf Shoreline Protection project was allocated $6 million in cash to continue the construction of breakwaters along the Cameron coast.

DOTD Highway Priority projects delineated for Cameron Parish were as follows: $22 million for the Grand Lake Pontoon Bridge Rehabilitation project, $47 million for the construction of two new ferries for the Calcasieu Ship Channel, $5.3 million for improvements to the Mermentau River Bridge in Grand Chenier, $2.7 million for the replacement of bridges on LA 717 in Klondike, $7.3 million to overlay LA 82 from the Dyson Road area to the Superior Bridge, $2.1 million for overlays to LA 1143 from LA 27 to Pumpkin Ridge Road, and $11.2 million to replace Superior Bridge on LA 82. These projects are all in various stages of development.

To read the rest of this story, please see page three of the print edition of The Cameron Parish Pilot.