For nearly 30 years in a row, Louisiana has led the nation in number of homicides. While this is a shocking fact in and of itself, other crimes are also on the rise. Louisiana has seen a disturbing spike in human trafficking over the last decade. Law enforcement needs new and creative tools at its disposal to prevent, track, and apprehend these perpetrators. Those with knowledge of such crimes should be protected under the law to encourage them to come forward. Penalties for crimes like human trafficking should be stiffened. Human trafficking and other abhorrent offenses are unacceptable in our state. It's time criminals understood that fact and feared it.
Louisiana is consistently in the bottom rankings of the nation for education. While we are making some advancements, we are still doing a disservice to our young people, their families, and our teachers. Our state needs to reassess its method of designing and implementing curricula, we need to listen more closely to those educators on the front line when implementing standards and evaluation criteria, and, while increasing teacher pay closer to the national average is welcome, it treats a symptom of retention without tackling the greater issue at hand, which is loss of funding due to an out-migration caused by over-taxation.
Businesses need room to grow. The free market dictates that when they have more capital to expand, we see an increase in jobs and rises in pay. Burdensome taxation and regulation stifles the ability of our Louisiana to companies to produce greater employment numbers. Instead, we are losing people in droves to states with much lower taxes and much higher economic growth. If we want the jobs to be here for our young people, if we want a greater revenue through increased market participation to better fund things like education, it must begin with making Louisiana a more attractive place to work. That will make it a more attractive place to live. And that all begins with Baton Rouge loosening its grip on the wallets of our hard-working citizens.