A letter to me, a friend!
Hosting World Leaders in New Orleans
Louisiana received great news on Monday night when President Bush took the opportunity in his State of the Union address to announce that New Orleans will host the North American Leaders Summit this coming April.
This is an opportunity for the world to see the progress that has been made in our state’s recovery, as well as a chance to show the world that Louisiana is ready for business, ready for investment and ready for visitors.
When speaking with the President about his decision, he told me that New Orleans was chosen because of the resilience of residents along the Gulf Coast.
With events such as the Sugar Bowl and BCS Championship just finished, and Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest and the NBA All-Star game before us, the North American Leaders Summit is another opportunity for the eyes of the world to turn to Louisiana.
Securing Support for Cyber Command
On Friday I met with Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynn in Washington to reaffirm the state’s commitment to permanently bringing Cyber Command to Barksdale Air Force Base. I have pledged to commit the first $50 million of the state surplus to support the transportation and infrastructure improvements needed for Cyber Command.
During my meeting, the Secretary told me he was impressed with the commitments made at the local and state levels and that a final decision should be coming toward the end of the year.
He emphasized that over a dozen communities are competing for the site, and that it was important for communities like Shreveport/Bossier City and the state to build the needed infrastructure now, such as the Cyber Innovation Center, in preparation of Cyber Command.
I was honored to take part last week in the groundbreaking for the Center, which will help provide support and development for Cyber Command. It is encouraging to see the community – government, private businesses, college and universities and non-profit organizations – working together to make Cyber Command and the Cyber Innovation Center a reality. Cyber Command will help bring thousands of high paying jobs to our state that will transform the I-20 corridor. I will continue to work hard in the coming months to make Barksdale the permanent Cyber Command.
Below is a link to an article concerning the Cyber Innovation Center groundbreaking.
“Jindal says Cyber Command efforts ‘priority,’ pledges state funds,” Shreveport Times
Helping Our Existing Businesses Expand
On Sunday I met with leaders from Koch Industries, a large employer that has eight different companies in Louisiana, such as Georgia Pacific, about how the state is a partner in helping businesses in our state succeed. I spoke with the president of Koch industries and offered the state’s assistance in helping their businesses grow and expand, as well as help plants like Springhill’s Georgia Pacific plant get back up and running.
As I told the Claiborne Parish Chamber of Commerce on Monday, so many times in the past our state has focused on luring the next big business to our state. And while that is important, we must remember and support those businesses that are already in the state. One way to help these businesses expand and grow is to eliminate the burdensome business taxes that other states, such as Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas, do not have.
We must level the playing field for our businesses by eliminating the taxes on debt, machinery and equipment and utilities. After we win the war on corruption with ethics reform, I will call the legislature into special session to eliminate these taxes for good.
Governor Bobby Jindal