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Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, LABI, Prez. Stephen Waguespack, talks tax reform


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No doubt, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry supports tax reform and, in general, the key legislation coming out of the House of Representatives. Supporting or taking positions on various state and national legislative instruments is what LABI does along with providing other services key to its members and the community.

On Thursday, we had a great opportunity to see and hear how LABI’s legislation-support process unfolds as we talked with the man in charge–Stephen Waguespack, it’s President, and CEO.

Waguespack joined me in a Facebook Live discussion Thursday afternoon as we talked about the state and national issues the organization faces. During the interview, we also discussed those services and opportunities available for its members.

As fate would have it, yesterday morning, hours before the interview, the long-awaited Republican House of Representatives tax bill, put together by the House and Ways and Means committee, was released to the public. Waguespack and LABI were already reviewing its provisions and so in the opening segment of the interview, we discussed the overarching features of the legislation and the benefits to the state.

Below is the transcript of the initial segment of the interview and the associated video.

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On Monday, we will publish the second of the multi-part interview.

The House Republicans released a tax bill and so it’s it’s a large document. We’re scouring through it and our staff level right now we’re distributing some of our members to get their feedback.

WAGUESPACK: You know, we have so many different businesses of all sizes of our membership. I’m sure we’ll get different feedback on it, but overall what I’m hearing is–our members are excited that this draft is released, they’re excited that the prospects of this bill moving forward, and so we’re working with our delegation up there on that issue.

The other piece is–we are, we have an event coming up pretty soon, we have the free enterprise awards dinner, we’re gonna have pretty soon and quite frankly throughout the year, we have businesses that in our opinion, do great things throughout the year . And so what we’ve started as a free enterprise awards dinner, where we recognize those members, and so in a couple of weeks, we’re gonna bring up the companies and the manufacturers and the economic development partners–have done great things throughout the year to help drive job creation in Louisiana. So we’re gonna be announcing those award recipients tomorrow. I won’t let the cat out of the bag, but tomorrow we’ll put a release out there, we’ll talk about the companies and the individuals that we think, who have really helped move the ball forward on creating jobs in Louisiana and we want to recognize their efforts. And so those are some of the things we’re working on.

We just came back from DC not too long ago. We brought our board of directors up there to meet with our delegation and meet the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, so we were grinding through policy and some of the important issues of the day up there and so we’re always-we’re active on, on policy and events here at LABI. So I guess, technically, this is our off-season since we’re not in session but it never really slows down, we’re always working on something.


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