Senator Jean-Paul J. Morrell (J.P. Morrell) - District 3, New Orleans:
"This has been a very difficult session. Emotions have run very high with officials sensitive about protecting their districts and the people they represent. And on top of the redistricting issue, we still face stark budget realities, questions about how we save SUNO and about how I protect the interest of the city I live in and love. All of these issues seem to compound themselves everyday. But I accept it all as the job I must do as a leader in this state.
"Some have used this session to create confusion rather than cohesion. Some only have been interested in their political seats. Some have tried to disparage those of us who work hard for all of our citizens. My record and my votes speak for themselves, and everyone else's should do the same!
"To that end I opposed the Senate redistricting plan which breaks up communities of interests in the Greater New Orleans Area, particularly as the plan impacts New Orleans East, Gentilly, St. Bernard Parish and the Upper and Lower Ninth Ward. I also opposed the House redistricting plan as it haphazardly merges many dissimilar areas throughout the New Orleans region.
"Additionally, the Senate was tasked with passing a congressional redistricting plan. After numerous attempts to pass a congressional plan, despite the constant meddling of the Governor and congressmen's self-interest, the Legislature has passed a bill. Unfortunately, it is a bill that dilutes the voice of the African Americans as well as the people of South Louisiana.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
“I will sign the congressional redistricting bill when it gets to my desk. We have said all along that we wanted legislators to work together across party lines and across chambers to come to a consensus plan. No one thinks this plan is perfect, but it is a good compromise. We will sign it and send it to the Justice Department. We are glad the legislature got House, Senate, Congressional, and PSC redistricting plans done that represent the interests of the entire state.”
Winnsboro Representative Noble E. Ellington
Republican District 20
The precincts Ellington picked up in LaSalle Parish came at the expense of Rep. Billy Chandler of Dry Prong. Chandler is a Democrat.
"I'm happy with the way it turned out," said Ellington, who switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican in December.
"Picking up Jena is a big deal to me, personally," Ellington said. "I had the opportunity to represent Jena when I was in the Senate and they seemed to like me a lot."
Senator Neil Riser - District 32 Columbia
Meanwhile, Sen. Neil Riser says he's disappointed a congressional redistricting plan he sponsored would not be approved by the Legislature.
"I never gave up," said Riser, R-Columbia.
"The Senate and House failed to work by sending us home on (last) Thursday and not convening until Monday," Riser said. "I told them that I would work 24 hours a day with a one-second adjournment, but I don't think they have the work ethic that I have."
The bill crafted by Riser included two congressional districts based in north Louisiana running vertically through out much of the state.
It preserved the 4th District and 5th District of Louisiana in the U.S. House of Representatives as they are today with some changes made to each district to account for population losses in northern Louisiana over the past 10 years.
Senator Joe McPherson - District 29 Woodworth
"We think it is a good compromise, despite the governor's favor" of it, said Sen. Joe McPherson, D-Woodworth, a frequent Jindal critic.
"Nothing jumps out at me and says it will be a problem" winning approval from the Justice Department, said Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite, chairman of the Legislative Democratic Caucus.
Rep. Kevin Pearson (R-76) Slidell
"The entire Northshore delegation worked hard to keep all of St. Tammany, Washington and Tangipahoa Parishes in the First Congressional District," Pearson said. "Ultimately, we were forced to vote for a bill that puts northern Washington and Tangipahoa Parishes in the Sixth Congressional District or find ourselves in an even worse position, with the Northshore further divided or with the loss of portions of St. Tammany from the First District.
"Gov. Jindal made his wishes clear, and we were quite simply outnumbered in both Chambers of the Legislature. The saving graces are that all of St. Tammany remains in the First District and that the portions now moved to the Sixth District will be well represented by Congressman Bill Cassidy. This will give our region an additional voice in Washington to augment the outstanding service we already receive from Congressman Steve Scalise.
"I look forward to continuing our relationship with Congressman Scalise and to building a stronger one with Congressman Cassidy."
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