By Message Staff
PINEVILLE – Congressman Ralph Abraham championed his gubernatorial vision for tax cuts and attracting new businesses to the state during a July 31 meeting of the North Rapides Business and Industry Alliance.
Abraham, who is one of three candidates for governor and a member of Alto Baptist Church, told a crowd gathered in Louisiana College’s Granberry Conference Center that, if elected, he would better position the state to end a recent streak of last-place finishes in an annual ranking of quality of life measures by the U.S. News & World Report.
“We are going to incentivize businesses to come, stay, grow and give that living wage job with benefits,” Abraham said. “If we do that, then they can invest and they grow.”
Among the ideas he presented to stimulate the economy in central Louisiana is the proposed Interstate 14 that would run from Texas through South Carolina, incorporating Louisiana Highway 28 between Texas and Mississippi, as a strategic highway connecting military bases to deep water ports for ease of shipping heavy combat equipment overseas. Abraham is a member of a multi-state caucus advocating for HR 6111, which would build existing roads into the congressionally designated highway.
“The I-14 corridor would be huge,” Abraham told the Baptist Message after the meeting. “It wouldn’t be just for central Louisiana, but the whole state and the whole south because it connects those military bases. It would serve as a conduit for billions and billions of dollars of cargo moving back and forth through the state.”
Abraham also told business leaders he would strive for more taxpayer money being dispersed at the local level.
“You know where the money needs to be spent,” he said. “You know how it needs to be spent. You know why it needs to be spent. You pay taxes. It’s your money. So as your governor you will have local control. Once we do that, you will see your own area grow and you control your fate.”
Abraham also advocated for reforms in the automobile insurance industry as well as the state tax structure, which he called “convoluted,” and legal system.
Additionally, he gave the Baptist Message an update on his efforts to promote Louisiana as the best location for the soon-to-form Space Command.
“We’ve got Barksdale. We’ve got the Cyber Innovation Center and Boeing and Lockheed Martin,” he said. “Right here in Alexandria, you’ve got the hub of what we need to bring the Space Command to Louisiana. I want it. We’re going to keep working for it.”