Louisiana educators make statement about harmful bills

Published 10:46 am Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The Louisiana Association of Educators has issued the following statement from Dr. Tia T. Mills about what she says are the unprecedented attacks on Louisianan’s freedoms.

Several bills introduced this year would fundamentally harm Louisiana citizens in unprecedented ways if passed. One such bill would call for a constitutional convention to rewrite the rules of the state, fundamentally ending protections and freedoms for every Louisiana resident. Others would place restrictions on what workers are allowed to do with their own paychecks, prohibit citizens from discussing conditions at their jobs with their co-workers, allow children to work dangerous construction jobs, and end protections for those who get hurt at work.

Thousands of workers from across the state have appeared in Baton Rouge since the 2024 legislative session started on March 11 and urged lawmakers to vote no to harmful bills. Some politicians refuse to listen to the will of the people and intend to try and force their colleagues to take a bad vote on these damaging bills. Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE) is calling on the Louisiana lawmakers to side with the bipartisan legislators who are voicing their opposition to the bills and do the right thing by their constituents.

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“I want to applaud the bi-partisan leaders in both the House and the Senate for asking the right questions of their colleagues in Baton Rouge and taking a hard look at these bills,” LAE President Mills said. “It’s going to take every leader to work together to stop the push of some dangerous bills which will fundamentally harm every single Louisiana family. We need everyone to call their representative and ask them to stop these bills from moving this week.”

This week, hundreds of union members and other concerned citizens will be meeting with legislators and speaking out about the bills that are threatening all Louisiana families. They will be carrying a message that the Legislature should stop consideration of bills like HB800, HB919, and SB331 and instead focus on the work that needs to be done in order to create jobs and fix Louisiana’s roads.

Three weeks ago, a bi-partisian polling firm released a poll showing that these bills and the policies for which they advocate for are deeply unpopular. Three-quarters (74%) of voters in the survey oppose changing state law to weaken employment protections, 85% of voters polled believed that Louisiana workers who want to contribute a portion of their wages to a union should be able to. This stands in stark contrast to the “Dues Deduction” bill currently being considered, which would removed the rights of workers to do what they want with their own paychecks. Seven in ten (69%) of voters polled opposed the Governor’s call for a dangerous constitutional convention.