A southwest Louisiana legislator is relinquishing a committee assignment and his Pentagon apartment after battling the Jindal administration on the budget.
“I need to separate myself from any perks just to be clear I’ve got one thing in my focus and that’s working on the budget,” state Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Lake Charles, said Tuesday morning.
Geymann shares a desk on the House floor with state Rep. Jim Morris, who was stripped last week of his vice chairmanship after joining in the budget battles.
At issue is the amount of one-time, or nonrecurring, money that should be used in the state operating budget. Gov. Bobby Jindal wanted to use more than $200 million in funding likely to materialize once. Geymann, Morris and other so-called fiscal hawks unsuccessfully fought to purge the one-time dollars and make cuts.
House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, said Geymann’s decision came as a surprise to him. “I had nothing to do with this,” he said.
Kleckley said he anticipates no further changes in leadership positions following Morris’ removal.
He said state Rep. Stuart Bishop, R-Lafayette, will replace Morris, R-Oil City, as vice chairman of the natural resources committee.
Kleckley said Bishop should be a good fit. “He’s a big outdoors man and he’s very passionate about natural resources,” he said.