In doing a little research on a couple of bills before lawmakers this session, I started looking at the committee assignments in the State House and what I found shocked me.

Then I started looking at the Senate side and it gets even worse. I don't understand why folks are not screaming from the rafters about this, but when it comes to committee assignments, our area is ignored in many cases. Don't get me wrong, we do have a few choice spots on some committees. But on the big ones that really wield power, we are treated like we don't matter.

We are the 3rd largest city in this state. We SHOULD matter and SHOULD have a fair voice in the decision making process.

Here's the list of House committees and who we have serving as our voice on this important panels that start the process of creating laws.

Criminal Justice
Crews, Raymond J. District 8 R
Norton, Barbara M. District 3 D

Civil Law And Procedure Committee
Crews, Raymond J. District 8 R
Jenkins, Sam District 2 D
Seabaugh, Alan District 5 R

Health And Welfare Committee
Bagley, Larry District 7 R

House Committee On Judiciary
No one

House Natural Resources And Environment
Morris, James "Jim" District 1 R

Commerce Committee
Thomas Carmody chairs this Committee and he is the only Committee Chairman from the Shreveport Bossier area. Cedric Glover also serves on this panel.

House And Governmental Affairs Committee
Horton, Dodie District 9 R
Jenkins, Sam District 2 D

House Committee On Labor And Industrial Relations
Bagley, Larry District 7 R
Crews, Raymond J. District 8 R
Horton, Dodie District 9 R

House Retirement
No one

House Committee On Appropriations

This is perhaps the most powerful committee in Baton Rouge. All spending bills begin here. While we do have Larry Bagley from Logansport on this panel, not one member from the Shreveport Bossier metro sits on this prestigious committee.

House Ways And Means
Morris, James "Jim" Vice Chair District 1 R
Horton, Dodie District 9 R
Bagley, Larry District 7 R

House Committee On Education
The most powerful committee to discuss our schools and our universities and we have no one serving from the Shreveport Bossier area.

House Committee On Insurance
Seabaugh, Alan Vice Chair District 5 R
Glover, Cedric District 4 D

House Committee On Municipal, Parochial And Cultural Affairs
Glover, Cedric District 4 D
Jenkins, Sam District 2 D
Norton, Barbara M. District 3 D

House Transportation, Highways And Public Works
Norton, Barbara M. District 3 D

Now let's move to the Senate side of the chamber, where Shreveport Bossier is even more underrepresented than I ever expected to see.

Agriculture
Barrow Peacock

Commerce
Barrow Peacock

Education
All are from south of Alexandria with the exception of John Milkovich from Shreveport and one Senator from West Monroe.

Environmental Quality
No one from Shreveport Bossier sits on this committee and only one member is from north of Alexandria.

Finance
This is a very large and influential committee and our area's only representation is Greg Tarver. Only 2 other members of this very powerful committee hail from North of Alexandria.

Health & Welfare
You would think the community which has a public medical school and public hospital would have strong representation on this committee. We have no one from Shreveport Bossier on this panel.

Insurance
Ryan Gatti (Vice-Chairman)

Judiciary A
Ryan Gatti and John Milkovich

Judiciary B
Gregory Tarver

Judiciary C
No one

Labor & Industrial Relations
Barrow Peacock

Local & Municipal Affairs
No one

Natural Resources
Ryan Gatti and Gregory Tarver

Retirement
Barrow Peacock is the Chairman (the only committee chair from our area) and John Milkovich

Revenue & Fiscal Affairs
Another powerful and influential committee that has no one from Shreveport Bossier. Why? It's time we ask that question. This committee has 3 people from New Orleans, 3 from the Baton Rouge area, another 2 from the Lafayette area and 2 from Central Louisiana.

Senate & Governmental Affairs
This panel is stacked with 4 members from New Orleans, another from Mandeville and only Gregory Tarver to represent our interests.

Transportation, Highways & Public Works

The committee that begins the discussion on all highway projects and bills to fund roads and bridges has not one representative from Shreveport Bossier. This panel is comprised of folks from south of I-10 except for one Senator from Jonesboro and one from Winnfield.  How is this adequate representation?

Do you want your voice to be heard?

Contact Senate President John Alario and ask him why we are so underrepresented. Email him at alarioj@legis.la.gov.

On the House side, Taylor Barras is the Speaker and he makes the assignments on that side of the chamber. You can email him at barrast@legis.la.gov.