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Landry signs bill into law to overhaul state’s economic development efforts

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(The Center Square) — Gov. Jeff Landry signed a bill on Tuesday to create a new department called Louisiana Economic Development.

LED is a revamp of the previous economic department designed to strengthen the state’s business environment and create a more vibrant Louisiana economy. Its mission is to serve as a launching pad for companies based in Louisiana and to create jobs and opportunities.

“It (SB 494) completely reimagines the visioning, planning, and oversight of our economic development efforts, it creates a private sector focused advisory board,” Secretary of LED Susan Bourgeois said. “It gives me and future secretaries the flexibility to tailor the agencies leadership structure to better align with that new vision.”

The office also develops and implements plans to receive federal, private and other grants to support the activities of the department and advance the economic growth and prosperity of the state.

Landry said in a news conference Tuesday that the Committee of 100, a non-profit organization of business leaders aimed at improving the state’s economic growth, applied the methods of other thriving southern states to Senate Bill 494.

“They studied states like Virginia, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Alabama, and others who have had great success in promoting their states and increasing the economic opportunities,” Landry said.

Speakers at Landry’s news conference stressed the importance of reorganizing Louisiana’s economic development agency, stating that Louisiana’s economy has been struggling for the last 20 years compared to neighboring states.

“The signing of this bill today tells not only America, it tells the world that Louisiana is getting ready to be busy,” Landry said. “We are going to be open for business.”

There will be 11 members on the committee, each serving terms of four years, except the initial appointees, and an individual member can only serve a maximum of two terms unless they were appointed to fill a vacancy.

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