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Oct 12, 2019
Election Day
 
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Rep. Valarie Hodges District 64

Today, I am formally announcing my campaign for re-election. As your State Representative, it has been a tremendous honor to make the needs of the people of District 64 my highest priority.          
Flooding, lower taxes, education, and jobs are such real issues for all of us. The Comite River Diversion Canal is well underway, and my commitment is to see it finished! I will continue the fight for the Darlington Reservoir flood mitigation projects, which would alleviate most all of the flooding problems.
I have stood for our community and our needs time and time again and so desire to continue to do so.
You give me courage and strength to stand for what is right because of your encouragement, prayers, and support.
As we go forward in this fight, I'm asking for your continued support and vote on October 12th.
Thank you and God Bless,

Valarie Hodges
    
    The 2019 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature began on April 8th and adjourned Sine Die on June 6th.  Sine Die is Latin for “without day” A legislative body adjourns sine die when it adjourns without appointing a day on which to appear or assemble again.

   It was a very exciting, nail-biting, sometimes intense, sometimes funny, and a successful meeting of the State House and Senate.

   To my constituents of District 64, the communities of Denham Springs, Brownfield, Pride, Watson, Central, Walker, Baker, and a portion of Zachary within Livingston and East Baton Rouge parishes,  I am very grateful and count it a honor to serve you.

   This session the State Budget was balanced. Education was funded with, finances for early childhood education and care, TOPS was fully funded, and a pay raise increase for teachers and support personnel. Funds were appropriated to infrastructure for transportation projects, and many other projects.  Criminal Justice was busy protecting children, implementing mandatory requirement for abortion clinic employees to report sex offenses and human trafficking and Solan’s Law HB158 was passed giving children proper detention screening before detention is secured. Included in many bills and resolutions were the military, victims’ rights, health care and health insurance, police and first responders, Sr. citizens, abortion, and Constitutional Amendments.

   I went into session this year with my normal intentions to...
• Resolve and protect our communities from flooding.
• Protect our resources from benefitting those who don’t deserve them.
• Protect the vulnerable among us.
I offered:
HB140 protecting officers and people who enforce the laws from being targeted by hate crimes.
HB245 was the anti BDS (Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions) legislation. Authorizes a public entity to reject the lowest bid from a bidder who engages in a
             boycott, divestment, or sanctions campaign against Israel. Israel is a valuable ally to Louisiana and the US.
HB530 would have deterred the theft of our LA tax dollars by requiring that the taxpayer certify in the filing process that the dependent they are claiming does
             actually qualify as a legal citizen of Louisiana. It really is time that we protect those dollars that you work hard for rather than just asking for more.
HB556 offered a sales tax rebate on the costs incurred for raising new homes to above the flood levels.
HB558 created a statewide flood control plan.  Water is a good thing in Louisiana. We fish, boat, swim, and enjoy all kinds of recreational activities on the water
             in Louisiana. We need to foresee and prepare for when it gets out of hand. There are ways to channel the excessive water without causing havoc in
             other areas of the state while protecting problem areas. This legislation allows the experts on all levels to come to the table together to accomplish that.

I offered resolutions to request funding for the Darlington Reservoir from the additional protection funds provided from the Restore dollars and another resolution to change the name of the task force for the Comite Diversion to include the surrounding threats from the Amite River.

I was honored to present Senator Milkovich’s SB184 Heartbeat Bill on the house floor. This was huge for our state and though it is pending the federal court rulings on the MS legislation, in the event that Roe vs Wade is repealed, the term of “life beginning” is finally determined in our state.

I opposed other legislation that set an age limit for marriage in our state. It is the parent’s decision when a child is mature enough to take a husband or wife.

I opposed the legislation that was offered concerning the custody of children. In a perfect world, every parent would have the best interest of their child as a priority. Unfortunately, more and more we have grandparents and other family members who are caring for children while the parents are not able. I appreciate those family members, rather than an overburdened foster care system or unfit parent, retaining custody of our children.

I appreciate your responses to the survey we sent out early in this session so as to gauge your sentiments aligned with mine.  We will be sending a post session survey and would appreciate your feedback on that as well.

I have served you this session on the Appropriations Committee, Administration of Criminal Justice Committee, Judiciary Committee, and Joint Legislative Committee on Budget.

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