State Senator Jean Paul “JP” Morrell was named “Legislator of the Year” by the Alliance for Good Government at a ceremony in New Orleans on Friday. This year, Sen. Morrell authored 54 bills, including historic legislation that passed to help dismantle institutional racism, increase protections for the survivors of domestic violence, and expand tax refunds for low-income working families with children. This is the second time the Alliance has bestowed this honor upon Sen. Morrell. 

“I’m honored to have been named Legislator of the Year, and I thank the Alliance for Good Government for promoting policies that benefit the people of Louisiana,” said Sen. Morrell. “This year our state was headed toward a fiscal cliff, and I’m glad that I was able to help lead negotiations to, not only pass a budget, but to fund priorities, including our schools and hospitals.” 

A Democrat, Sen. Morrell represents District 3, which includes parts of Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Bernard Parishes. The first African American to hold the post in two decades, he chairs the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over the state’s construction budget as well as all taxation matters. In this role, he was directly involved in a variety of efforts to reform the state budget and make sure capitol priorities happened in the New Orleans area. In particular, he was a central negotiator in finally stabilizing the state budget after three special sessions this year, securing funding for local colleges, universities, and hospitals.

Sen. Morrell authored dozens of pieces of notable legislation this year, including bills to: 

require unanimous juries in all criminal cases.
expand the Earned Income Tax Credit.
protect taxpayers from tremendous property tax inflation in a single year.
reform the Sewerage and Water Board.
create the Louisiana Sexual Assault Oversight Committee.
provide additional protection to domestic violence victims. 
expand Equal Pay/Fair Pay.
ensure people know options for cheaper medications. 
prohibit vehicles from being immobilized after only one parking ticket.
prohibit Non-Disclosure Agreements used to conceal crimes, such as molestation and sexual assault.

According to the organization’s website, “[t]he purpose of the Alliance for Good Government is to foster, protect and promote the welfare and interest of the citizens of the State of Louisiana by bringing together thinking citizens into an organization to promote public policies which benefit the New Orleans Metropolitan area, the State of Louisiana and the United States of America. The purpose is also to research and inform the public on any issues that relate to taxes, bonds, amendments, etc. This will be done as part of the Alliance for Good Government’s endorsement process in each parish and voted on by each parish with the President’s supervision.”

More at jpmorrell.com.

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