Representative Mike Walsworth, now candidate for Senate District 33, is leading the way towards a better Louisiana. Walsworth has always been a strong advocate for better ethics in state government and is without any doubt the most fiscal conservative serving from Northeast Louisiana. These badly needed qualities in the State Legislature have been a career focus for Mike Walsworth since his first days as a State Representative, and now, supporting Blueprint Louisiana is an easy continuation for this Senate hopeful.
Mike Walsworth is the first Legislator to come out in public support of Blueprint Louisiana. Providing leadership for the state has been Mike’s strong suit for quite sometime, but the “Good Old Boy” have fought against his morally driven efforts both tooth and nail. It has been this status quo that has held this state back for so many years and Mike has pledged his support for Blueprint Louisiana to help lead the fight toward a better Louisiana.
“I am serious about Louisiana having the nation’s best ethics laws. We cannot allow the good ole boy network to run things anymore”, says Mike Walsworth. That alone will be a change never seen in Louisiana, but Mike has other plans to make Louisiana even better.
Representing Ouachita Parish in the State House, Mike Walsworth has always been a strong advocate for better education in Louisiana. Ouachita Parish has the third best school system in the entire state. Along with leading the fight to lower the dropout rate in our schools, Mike Walsworth led the efforts to locate Delta Community College in Monroe, and going beyond his appointed duties, Mike Walsworth has been at the forefront of insuring the success of D’Arbonne Woods Charter School in Union Parish.
Not only has Mike kept our children’s best interest close to heart for a better education, Mike Walsworth has led the fight to improve healthcare for our children and his efforts have received STATE-WIDE honors for his hard work with LA CHIPS. These continued efforts will be even more important in the future given recent legislation (H.R.3162) in Washington, DC that will force scarce funds to be used to fund healthcare for illegal aliens.
Being a true fiscal conservative, Mike Walsworth made a valiant fight to control spending in Baton Rouge, as Democrats rammed an irresponsible budget through the Legislature. Mike wanted that budget to reflect the desperate need to lower a $14 BILLION dollar backlog in highway projects, but instead the spendthrifts chose to spend much of that money on luxury items that a state in such disrepair simply cannot afford. With some of the worst highways in the country, and a growing backlog of highway projects, that fight has simply got to continue, and with a new, like-minded Governor, responsible spending could actually be on the horizon. Mike Walsworth co-authored legislation that would put hundreds of millions of dollars into new highway projects and Mike authored HB 626 which created the Ouachita Expressway Commission.
By partnering with Blueprint Louisiana and the next Governor of Louisiana, everything that Mike Walsworth has been fighting for will now get more help. Blueprint Louisiana has five main focus points which mirror Mike Walsworth’s goals.
#1: Adopt the Nation’s Best Ethics Laws
Louisiana’s history of public corruption continues to harm our image, and national rankings highlight the real weaknesses in our governmental ethics laws. A bold statement on ethics is needed to bolster our citizens’ trust in government and improve the state’s reputation. To establish Louisiana as a national model for ethics in government, existing laws must be strengthened significantly with (1) legislative financial disclosure, (2) enhanced lobbyist regulation, (3) transparency in state funding of local projects, and (4) increased resources for prevention and enforcement by the independent ethics board.
#2: Prepare Students for a Lifetime of Success
Student achievement in Louisiana continues to lag well behind the national average. To provide a strong foundation, Louisiana should continue to expand our nationally recognized pre-kindergarten program shown to dramatically improve student achievement. At the other end of the spectrum, we must do more to prepare students for careers and college, while decreasing the drop-out rate. Giving all our four-year-olds access to a good educational start must be followed by sustained support that leads to graduation and future success.
#3: Develop the Skilled Workforce We Need
An alarming “skills gap” exists in Louisiana. Too many citizens lack the skills they need to earn a good living, and too many employers can’t find prepared workers to fill open jobs. The Louisiana Community and Technical College System, with campuses across the state, is well positioned to direct the high-demand, industry-sensitive workforce training we need. By improving coordination with industry leaders and developing “rapid response” capacity, our community and technical colleges can prepare our citizens for greater success in the workplace and provide Louisiana companies with skilled workers to grow their businesses. #4: Provide First-Class Access to Health Care
Our state-run health care “safety net” fails to provide adequate access to care. All of our patients, insured and uninsured, deserve a health care system that meets their needs. Responsibility for providing care to the uninsured should be shared by the private and public sectors, with an emphasis on local governance, allowing LSU to focus on world-class medical education and research.
#5: Build a Superior Transportation System
Louisiana”s roads are repeatedly rated among the worst in the nation. The poor condition of our transportation system is hurting our economy and making us all miserable. The backlog of projects is $14 billion. We need to fix traffic gridlock and make Louisiana a transportation hub for the nation. Existing transportation revenues should be dedicated to transportation projects, and we should develop mega-projects with toll-generated revenues to speed up large-scale transportation needs in a cost-effective, timely manner.