The 2023 legislative session in Baton Rouge ended June 8 with a controversial last-minute budget bill and a package of bills targeting the transgender community. Attempts by Democrats to add rape and incest as exceptions to the state’s near total abortion ban, raise the minimum wage and abolish the death penalty were unsuccessful. Yet New Orleans’ Democratic contingent is able to tout some successes despite the tough political climate.
The 2023 legislative session was “challenging,” according to District 5 state Sen. Royce Duplessis. He was nonetheless pleased with several budget wins, including $44 million for early childhood education as well as stipends for teachers and support personnel. “I am committed to continuing the fight for a permanent pay rise because our teachers and our children deserve much more,” Duplessis said.
After four years of hard work, Duplessis was able to pass Senate Bill 111, which streamlines the expungement process for some criminal records and makes it easier and more affordable.