Friday, 17 June 2011 16:35
Louisiana GOP Legislators Honor Ponti, Appel
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John Hainkel The John J.  Hainkel Leadership Award, named in honor the only Republican in the nation ever to have served as both the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate, has been awarded to Senator Conrad Appel and Representative Erich Ponti.      This annual award honors members of the Louisiana Republican Legislative  Delegation who carry the Hainkel banner of accountable government, respect for the free market, and lower taxes.

        In the Senate Delegation, Senator Conrad Appel (R-Metairie) was recognized by his Senate colleagues for his leadership in seeking an effective system of public higher education in the New Orleans region.    Among other legislation, he authored bills during the 2011 Regular Session to Senate Bill 183 which sought to combine UNO, SUNO, and Delgado into one effective structure of regional higher education. 

        Senate Delegation Chair Danny Martiny stated, "Senator Appel confronted head-on the systemic problems which Louisiana faces in reforming higher education.   His persistence and tenacity dealing with this most controversial issue resulted in Louisiana taking the first step in fulfilling his vision to provide the citizens of Louisiana with a first-class educational system."

        Representative Erich Ponti (R-Baton Rouge) was selected by his House Delegation colleagues as the recipient of this leadership award.    Representative Ponti successfully authored House Bill 6 which provided for the redistricting of Louisiana's congressional districts.      House Delegation Chair Jane Smith recognized Representative Ponti's tireless efforts in congressional redistricting.    Representative Smith said,   "When everyone else thought it was dead, Representative Ponti never gave up on getting a plan passed which was acceptable to all entities across the state." 

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