Scalise returns to Houma

Rep. Steve Scalise’s first public address in his congressional district since being shot happened in Houma.

Scalise was a guest at today’s South Central Industiral Association general meeting. He spoke about his recovery from a June shooting during a charity baseball practice when a gunman wounded three others and left Scalise in critical condition as well as the congressional agenda going forward.

Scalise said it was good to be back in Houma and talk to all those who sent him prayers, calls and notes during his recovery.

“I appreciate so much you giving me the ability to represent Southeast Louisiana in Congress. There is no greater honor,” Scalise said.

Scalise said he has since gotten back to work in Washington, D.C., with the House of Representatives passing a budget the week after he returned to work. The House Majority Whip said the budget protects offshore oil lease revenues dedicated to states on the Gulf Coast, which are critical to coastal restoration projects. According to Scalise, those coastal dollars will be not be under as fervent a threat going forward.

“We finally start getting money this year. Before the money started rolling in, it was a lot easier for people to think they could take it because it was money that wasn’t gong out yet,” Scalise said. “Now that it’s going to finally start this year and every year after, it’s a lot different battle if they’re trying to take something away that’s already there.”

The meeting not only marked the return of Scalise but also a transfer of power at SCIA. It was outgoing executive director Jane Arnette’s final general meeting, who is retiring but will continue to do marketing consulting in the area. Christy Naquin, who is taking over for Arnette, thanked her predecessor for training her and spoke to the legacy she leaves behind.

“Jane has been calling me her replacement. I will say that there is no replacement for Jane. I’ll just say that I’m the next executive director of SCIA,” Naquin said.

Arnette thanked SCIA and the past presidents for working with her over the last 15 years while offering parting words about finding passion in life.

“I’m just going to take a real quick time here and say: whatever you do in life, remember to thine own self be true and do it, do it well and be happy in whatever you do,” Arnette said.

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) speaks with Restore or Retreat Executive Director Simone Maloz at today’s South Central Industrial Association meeting. Scalise said the meeting was his first public address in his district since the June shooting that left him in critical condition.

Staff Writer