POSTED: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 8:30pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 8:34pm
FRANKLIN, LA — Governor Bobby Jindal traveled to Franklin – the home of former Governor Mike Foster – where he announced an investment of more than $2 million to house the archives of the former Governor.
Governor Jindal said, “Today is about more than just bricks and mortar. The walls surrounding us today will house the archives of Governor Foster, but they will do much more than that. This building will serve as a place to celebrate the incredible work of Governor Foster and educate generations of our people about the monumental reforms he implemented.”
Governor Jindal outlined the reforms pursued and passed by Governor Foster and he called them a game changer for Louisiana.
Governor Jindal said, “Governor Foster made possible the creation of what we know today as the community and technical college system. It’s now one of the fastest growing community and technical systems in the country and well-positioned to help train our people for tens of thousands of jobs coming to our state in the very near future.
“He expanded the TOPS program so students would be eligible based on merit rather than simply income. He pushed for teacher pay raises and made remarkable progress to move them closer to the Southern average.
“Governor Foster brought accountability to Louisiana’s K-12 schools. He passed reforms to hold our students, schools, and districts accountable so the state can better distribute resources. His work on education is something that we are still building on today.
“Governor Foster targeted tort reform, and was able to pass a package of bills that included reforms long sought after by the business community, including liability and punitive damage reform. His work paid off, and effectively helped end the practice by which trial lawyers could seek punitive damages from businesses.
“Governor Foster brought Louisiana's debt down by $1.6 billion and raised its bond rating.
“Governor Foster helped reform the workers’ compensation system in Louisiana. This is a reform he worked on back to his days as a State Senator. The old system was driving businesses out of state. He’s still involved in this effort today – serving as Vice Chairman of the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corporation.”
Governor Jindal added, “Governor Foster left our state in a better place than when he first took office. Thanks to these new archives, many generations of Louisianians will now have the opportunity to learn about the impact Governor Foster has had on our state. And more importantly, many generations of Louisianians will be more prosperous because of the work he did as Governor.”
The funding will renovate and preserve the third floor of the former Crowell Elementary School. The first and second floors have already been renovated and serve as the Franklin City Hall. Once complete, the renovated third floor will house archives detailing Governor Foster’s tenure in office, as well as other area archives, books and a public auditorium.