LA House Dist. 66 candidates speak on traffic, deficit, oil prices

LA House of Dist. 66 candidates speak on traffic, deficit, oil prices

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It's a beautiful afternoon to run to the store, but once they're done shopping some people at the College Dr. Walmart don't look forward to getting back on the road.

"Some of the worst traffic I've seen, I've lived in Memphis too and I think it's worse here," said shopper Marvin Bradley Burleson.

And now Traffic is a major campaign issue for candidates running for the LA House of Representatives- the Dist. 66 seat in south East Baton Rouge Parish.

"I'm someone who knows that traffic in Baton Rouge is holding us back from our full potential," said Buddy Ameroso, LA House Dist. 66 candidate and a member of the Baton Rouge Metro Council.

Republicans Buddy Ameroso, Rick Bond and Darrell Ourso spoke to the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday.

Also taking questions, Susan Nelson. She's an Independent.

"I've heard politicians talk about fixing traffic in this state and in this city my entire life. It's gotten worse because they say it but they don't do it," said Rick Bond, LA House Dist. 66 candidate.

Bond and Ourso support toll roads or user fees to fund a traffic fix. Nelson offered the idea of a loop south near the Plaquemine Ferry. Ameroso said start with reforming the transportation trust fund, making that money only go toward roads and bridges

The candidates also attacked the legislature on healthcare and education.

Facing a $1.6 billion shortfall, hundreds of millions in cuts are looming for colleges and universities like LSU.

"It should be and it needs to be our flagship university. It's doing wonderful things with all the strife and all the burdens we've placed on that university every year," said Darrell Ourso, LA House Dist. 66 candidate.

Addressing the deficit, Councilman Ameroso wants no new taxes.

Addressing low oil prices, Ourso wants voters to decide whether to raise the gas tax. Nelson says if upping the gas tax is the answer, it should be raised now.

"When you come to the table with a one-size fits all solution, you've stopped listening," said Susan Nelson, LA House Dist. 66 candidate.

Meantime, voters are already making their choice. More than 30,000 EBR voters are eligible for early voting.

"It will probably pick-up midway during the week towards the end of the week," said Priscilla Arceneaux, who works for the Registrar of Voters at City Hall.

The polls are open through Valentine's Day.

Election Day is Saturday the 21st. The winning candidate will replace Hunter Green who was recently elected Family Court Judge.

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