February 27, 2008

On Behalf of the Freshman Class

Remarks at the Closing of the First Extraordinary Session of 2008

By State Representative Simone Champagne

We came here with enthusiasm and vision to help our Governor and fellow senior colleagues to lead our state in a new direction.

Thirty freshmen authored bills. Freshmen proposed 20 amendments to House Bills, of which 17 were adopted, and 24 amendments to Senate Bills, of which 15 were adopted. Five bills by freshmen have completed the legislative process.

We thank our Governor for bringing us here today. We could not have accomplished what we have in this short period of time without Speaker Jim Tucker, Speaker Pro Tem Karen Peterson, and House Clerk Butch Speer, who took up for us and fought for us when that may not have been the most popular thing to do at the time. We thank you.

We also thank our senior colleagues who offered us advice and guidance with the process.

Our staff who works diligently behind the scenes and who are the nuts and bolts of the operation that keep us grounded:

The Sergeants-at-Arms who come here everyday and protect the integrity of our house:

Chairman Rick Gallot and the House and Governmental Affairs Committee, understanding that we may not all like everything that was done but led this effort knowing that, long term, the "Company" known to us as our state will have a more prosperous future and who ultimately took the hits for the team:

Representative Jane Smith, who gave us wonderful advice in our orientation by telling us to respect our colleagues and they in turn will respect us:

We thank all of you for not only being our colleagues but our friends in this process.

Our work has just begun. It is a new day in Louisiana. Two weeks ago we walked on this floor individually; today we leave together as a team to Renew Louisiana.

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