The 23rd Annual LASIE Conference: Whistle Stop Tour, began yesterday with a rousing speech by Senator David Vitter. Vitter emphasized his continuing LASIE membership as well as his commitment to the workers’ compensation industry in Louisiana, explaining that his upcoming bid for Governor will be a business-focused campaign.
Indeed, the LASIE community attending the conference reacted positively to Vitter’s message of solidarity, as well as his assurance that under his leadership, workers’ comp will no longer be a sideline issue. Vitter explained, “we need to face the challenges of improving our business climate and we need skilled workers, trained workers to help us meet these challenges.”
However, the bulk of Vitter’s speech was occupied with the larger political issues surrounding workers’ comp. In particular, he seemed bolstered by Tuesday’s mid-term election results noting: “[voters] clearly wanted a change…and clearly wanted more checks and balances on President Obama. But I would never have guessed the nature of the sweep that happened.”
This “sweep,” Vitter indicated, is illustrative of the nation’s increasing conservative bent. Should he succeed current Governor Jindal, Vitter expressed that his administration would put Louisiana’s industrial concerns first and do whatever it could to decrease workers’ compensation costs for employers, citing neighboring states like Texas and Arkansas as competitors for employers considering our region.
Vitter noted, “We’re going to see big booms in places like Lake Charles…and overall our business environment is very positive, but it could be better.” Specifically, Vitter sees the legal atmosphere as damaging to growth. “In those areas Louisiana is pretty far behind. It is a negative, threatening [legal] environment for a lot of businesses and job creators.”
The LASIE conference will continue through Friday, November 7th at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi. Speakers will address pharmacy, hiring considerations and surgery in the coming day.