Why can't we be friends? Senator seeks civility

Tue, 2017-06-06

BATON ROUGE — Why can't we be friends?

State Sen. Rick Ward, R-Port Allen, sensing a growing fractiousness in the Louisiana Legislature, wants to cool the rhetoric.

"There are always a lot of heated discussions, but it seems to me like we're moving away from philosophical disagreements on issues and getting personal," he said.

So Ward authored Senate Concurrent Resolution 102, which encourages civility among lawmakers.It won final legislative approval Tuesday in the House by a vote of 101-0.

"I'm afraid you're seeing us headed in a similar direction as Washington," he said.

Or even neighboring Texas, where lawmakers there engaged in a shoving match last week. Ward's resolution was heard in the Senate the next day.

"That was just lucky timing," Ward said, laughing.

State Rep. Chris Broadwater, R-Hammond, presented the resolution Tuesday in the House.

"To me, it's the most important instrument of the entire session because it affects every aspect of our service," Broadwater said. "It is something to which we all should aspire both so we can better succeed in our efforts here and as a reminder that others are watching."