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Jun 28, 2011 11:23 PM by Maddie Garrett

LA Cities Expect Changes After Legislative Session Ends

With the regular legislative session just coming to a close, cities and towns across Louisiana will have a few changes coming their way.

There's been a lot of talk about budget cuts, higher education and redistricting at the State capitol. But there were also those in Baton Rouge fighting for Louisiana's municipalities, like John Gallagher, a lobbyist for the Louisiana Municipal Association (LMA).

"We were able to get some legislation passed that would help alleviate some of the cost to tax payers and local government," said Gallagher.

Tuesday night nearly 200 local leaders gathered in Arnaudville to go over some of the new legislation that will soon take effect.

"There are a lot of things that come into the legislative process that can have a drastic effect on how we do business at the municipal level," said Tom Ed McHugh, Executie Director of LMA.

One of the major changes comes from House Bill 332 that will effect the structure of retirement plans for municipal fire and police departments.

"That would save, hopefully save, several million dollars over the next few years for local governments in working with those retirement systems," explained Gallagher.

They were also able to prevent some bills from passing that would hurt cities and towns, like Senate Bill 108. SB 108 would have restricted local tax elections by providing that they could only be held at the same time as statewide or congressional elections.

"We were able to defeat that legislation which would have further hampered all local governments' ability to generate revenues with tax renewals," said Gallagher of SB 108.

All in all, the LMA believes this last session was a positive one for local governments.

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