OUR VIEW: Time to tend to the tough business of the people

At noon on Monday, Louisiana’s Legislature will meet at the Capitol, in a session that promises to be contentious as it shall be interesting. The 2013 regular session will continue through May and likely into June, ending no later than the 6th of that month.

That so many people from so many walks of life are able to gather under this one roof and work with their political, cultural, economic, geographic and social differences is one of the wonders and blessings of a representative democracy.

But somehow they do. In the name of the people who elected them, the representatives and senators gather in committee rooms and within their respective chambers, hashing and tweaking, cajoling and compromising.

A governor or other official may have preferences; the legislators themselves may have understandable agendas.

Ultimately the matters up for discussing and deciding will for some citizens involve life and death, freedom or confinement, opportunity or misfortune.

Legislators and their staff members need to know this above all. Political winds may blow from one side or the other and can, for the courageous public servant, can be ignored if they stand in the way of doing what is truly right and just.

Crucial issues involving health care, weapons possession by private citizens, the management of our precious fisheries and allocation of huge amounts of money for various projects that could, ultimately, make Louisiana a better place to raise children, the structure that we use to tax ourselves in order to pay for services at the state level, all of these are examples of how weighty this session will be.

We pray and hope that our lawmakers will remember that in the house the people built they are about the business of serving the public, and making decisions that will ultimately be good not just for Louisiana and her people today, but far into the future. We have placed trust in all of you, that’s why you are there. We look forward to seeing you return with the pride that comes from a job well done, and hope that Louisiana will ultimately benefit from your actions not only now but in the future.