LaPolitics: That final Finance vote in HB 1 was such a break from the session rhythm. Quick, unemotional and transactional. Was that intentional, did committee members discuss and endeavor that approach?

Sen. Bret Allain: You mean when I ran the meeting?

LaPolitics: The Finance meeting.

Allain: Yeah. That’s just how I roll. There were no cards. There were no questions. We stayed up for two nights in a row til midnight with spreadsheets trying to balance everything. Everybody had well made up their minds and were satisfied — not everybody was one hundred percent satisfied, obviously. It was meant to be unemotional. There was no reason to belabor it and we needed to get it up on the floor. Most of what had been said had been, with the caucus and with the staff. The night before that, we were up until midnight trying to balance this thing and most of everybody’s questions had been answered by staff. So we came with the plan. We put it forth, realizing that the House may have some additional things to say about it. But we wanted to go ahead and get our plan out there as we did last time. So. Next question.

LaPolitics: What’s important for the Senate during this break? What’s one thing that can be improved upon?

Allain: During the break? You mean the one we’re hoping to have? I think, as far as vice chair of Finance, I think we really need some greater accountability of the Louisiana Department of Health. Just by asking questions at the table, we came up with $44 million of things that they had budgeted but the actuals didn’t come up to them. Just by asking the questions, we came up with between $44 million and $60 million worth of savings. LDH is $14 billion of a $29 billion budget. I don’t think it’s by design, but it’s such a huge bureaucracy. It’s hard for us to get a handle on it. I think we need to do more. We’re spending a lot of money there. That’s with all agencies, but we’re spending a lot of money there. I think during the break we really need to do some more scrutiny of LDH. I don’t mean in a bad way. People are tired of taxes. I’m tired of taxes. If there are savings to be had throughout government, we need to find them.

LaPolitics: What’s more strained — the relationship between the House and the Senate or the relationship between the House and the governor?

Allain: Yes.

LaPolitics: Do you think they’re strained in different ways?

Allain: I do. I mean it did not help — I took offense when Jay Dardenne, after we passed the budget in the regular session and we decided that we were not going to pass a budget that threw 37,000 people out of nursing homes as the House had sent it to us, and we made cuts into state government agencies, Jay Dardenne felt obligated to sit there and berate and belittle that. That was not acceptable. That severely strained the relationship between the governor and the Senate. Let me tell you: The press always loves to say that the Senate is the lapdog to the governor. Let me tell you: We’re not. We’re an independent body. We take pride on being independent. There were a lot of initiatives the governor had — minimum wage, equal pay — a lot of those things that the Senate rejected. We rejected what the governor and the House had sent us with this budget and actually argued with him. I think that relationship between us and the governor is severely strained right now. But whether it’s strained or not, we have a job to do.

LaPolitics: Can we keep you in the mix as a potential Senate presidential candidate?

Allain: I am.

LaPolitics: Can you elaborate?

Allain: I’ve created a package called the Bayou Leadership PAC. I have a PAC in place and funded. I intend to go out there and help my friends who want to run for the Senate and also the senators who are here that I know are going to return. I am going to be a candidate and I am going to go out and spend the time and the energy to let people know who I am. Hopefully, when it comes time to decide who they want to lead them, I’ll be one of the ones in their consideration.

LaPolitics: Speaking of which, tell us what you think is the most interesting thing worth following for the fall election cycle.

Allain: That the Senate is probably going to have at least 18 new members and that the control of the Senate may actually be dependent on the people who have never served a day in the Senate. That also is interesting and concerning to me. To me, and I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been here, you can always depend on the bedrock of the decorum of the Senate. We separate ourselves from the House not in a bad way, I’m not trying to say that we’re better or worse. But you’ll notice that in all of our proceedings, there is a decorum. Or there should be. I am concerned that we maintain that decorum. I’m excited about new members coming in, but so many changing at one time, I think, will be I don’t know if you want to call that exciting. I think the governor’s race is going to be exciting, also. I’m just hoping that at the end of that election cycle the Legislature is better off than it is now.

LaPolitics: What’s your personal quota on red snapper this go around?

Allain: My personal quota would be two fish a day every day it’s open. Obviously, that’s not attainable because of this job. I would love to go fishing every day the snapper season is open. I’m at peace when I’m fishing.

LaPolitics: Do you intend to reach that personal quota before the legislature convenes a session again, during this break that we’re hoping to have?

Allain: I would have to resign from the Senate.

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

* * * * *   S P E C I A L   H O L I D A Y   I S S U E   * * * * * The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille &

SPONSORED: Fostering A Healthier Community One Step At A Time

TPG recently attended the Acadiana Culture of Health Summit, an event that brought together healthcare professionals, local leaders, and

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates December 11, 2018 / Issue No. 168 By MITCH RABALAIS

SPONSORED: Cheniere Energy Makes A Generous Donation In New Apprenticeship Program

The new program will launch in January 2019, and eligible students will take what they have learned in SOWELA’s classrooms and apply it to

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates


The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates November 27, 2018 — Issue No. 166 By: Mitch Rabalais

SPONSORED: Lafayette Airport Terminal Groundbreaking Ceremony

It’s an exciting time for the Lafayette Regional Airport and the Acadiana region. After many years of planning and raising funds, the new

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates November 13, 2018 Issue No. 165 By Mitch Rabalais

SPONSORED: Picard Participates In Collaborative Panel Discussion

As Chair-Elect of the Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) and member of the Committee of 100, Tyron Picard recently participated in a

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates By MITCH RABALAIS ( & JEREMY ALFORD

SPONSORED: TPG Attends Microsoft Consultant’s Retreat

TPG’s Mike Michot and Evan Boudreaux recently attended the 2018 Microsoft State Governmental Affairs Consultant’s Retreat, providing an

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates October 30, 2018 Issue No. 163 Special “BRUH!” Edition By: Mitch

SPONSORED: The Picard Group

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates October 23, 2018 — Issue No. 162 By Mitch Rabalais

SPONSORED: LPCA Hold 35th Annual Conference

TPG’s client Louisiana Primary Care Association (LPCA) held their 35th Annual Conference last week at the Shreveport Convention Center. LPCA

The Tuesday Tracker Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

October 16, 2018 — Issue No. 161 By Jeremy Alford ( & Mitch Rabalais ( (Printable

CORRECTION (LaPolitics Weekly 10.12.18)

In a “Field Notes” brief from yesterday’s LaPolitics Weekly, we erroneously reported that the Plaquemines Parish Council voted 4-3 to remove

The WEDNESDAY Tracker, Sponsored By Harris DeVille & Associates

October 10, 2018 — Issue No. 160 By Jeremy Alford ( & Mitch Rabalais ( RISPONE IS IN Fast

SPONSORED: Bike MS + Team Blu Collar = Success

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you work as a team, focused on one goal and motivating each other to succeed. On October 6 and

SPONSORED: The Picard Group


October 2, 2018 — Issue No. 159 By Jeremy Alford ( & Mitch Rabalais (  IT AIN’T

SPONSORED: Honoring Former Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco

The Picard Group was honored to attend the Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center gala on Friday, September 21, supporting UL

SPONSORED: Franco-Fête 2018 Fundraising Luncheon For Scholarship Program Of CODOFIL

Each year, Franco-Fête raises funds to support French education in Louisiana, especially through La Fondation Louisiane’s “Escadrille

The Tuesday Tracker (Sponsored By Harris DeVille & Associates)

September 18, 2018 — Issue No. 158 By Jeremy Alford ( & Mitch Rabalais

CAPITOL GAINS: Does Louisiana need a lieutenant governor?

You’ve really need to watch this interview. From being mistaken for Coach O and fielding attacks from fellow Republicans, to why John