The Role of a Legislator
Legislators are elected-members of the legislature who write and pass laws. In Louisiana, legislators perform part-time legislative work and usually have other jobs. Despite being part-time, most legislators work long nights and weekends whether they are at the Capitol or attending meetings with colleagues and constituents.
Furthermore, Louisiana legislators do not make a lot of money for their duties as legislators. The base salary is $16,800 per year, excluding the president and president pro tempore of the Senate and the speaker and speaker pro tempore of the House of Representatives. They also receive a per diem and travel allowances for trips to the Capitol during session and to committee meetings in the interim.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Legislators are committed public servants. Those long nights come at a cost.
- Legislators are elected to represent their constituents' concerns.
- Legislators are people too! There is no need to be afraid to communicate with your legislator. They usually welcome input from advocates.
- They represent a broad range of interests, backgrounds, experiences, biases, and networks.
- Do not make assumptions about legislators and their views. Some of the best disability advocates in the legislature do not have a child or relative with a disability.
- They are not experts on every policy area the legislature considers.