In the bayou region, we have so much to be thankful for, our bountiful resources, unique culture and most importantly an indomitable spirit with a zest for life.
We are committed to this region and are willing to demonstrate that commitment by providing local and state funding to do our part to ensure our coastal communities will survive.
Is it too much to ask that the federal government provide its share to help preserve the nation's most productive coastal ecosystem and protect the communities that provide energy and fisheries resources utilized by the entire United States?
Across the country, cities and towns are repairing roads and bridges, upgrading water treatment systems, expanding broadband access and addressing the critical infrastructure needs of the future.
But because we’re restricted in how we pay for these projects, there are limits to what we can accomplish alone.
We need a strong partner in the federal government because local and state money is insufficient to complete these projects.
More alarming, Congress is considering reducing the money Louisiana receives from the Gulf of Mexico Energy Securities Act, which would only exacerbate our problems and limit our attempts to protect and restore our coast.
Although Congress invested in infrastructure in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 and continues to move legislation forward that will provide small fixes, any additional money won’t come close to meeting the $2 trillion needed nationally and allow the federal government to provide its fair share of our Morganza-to-the-Gulf hurricane protection system.
We need Congress to prioritize an infrastructure plan that will protect our coastal communities, wetlands and transportation infrastructure and invests in our nation’s workforce.
As a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives I’m standing strong together with more than 19,000 leaders across our country to ensure that the federal government understands the infrastructure needs of our cities.
Also, we object to any reallocation of federal mineral revenues unless the reallocation also increases the GOMESA revenue shared with Gulf Coast states.
That’s why I’m calling on Congress to work with us to develop an infrastructure plan that invests in our vision to protect and restore our coast and our coastal communities.
Our country is greatest when we invest in building great things and support working families.
America's infrastructure problems cannot wait. It’s time for Congress to work with cities to rebuild and re-imagine America’s infrastructure.
I appreciate all the hard work that our congressional delegation has previously undertaken to help in this regard; however, much more needs to be done so that we can rebuild to protect our future.
State Rep. Jerome Zeringue is a Republican from Houma.