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As the Louisiana legislature convenes, here's what Acadiana should watch for

The state legislature convened its regular session Monday, and much of what legislators decide during the next the next three months could have major impacts on businesses and people in the Acadiana region.

The Acadiana delegation holds serious power in the legislature, including the president of the senate, the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee and the chair of the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee. Many of the key players in some of the legislature's most prominent battles — like the budget, capital outlay, tax structure and marijuana legalization, to name a few — will be from the Acadiana area.

Here are some of the key items people in Acadiana should watch out for:

Money for I-49 and watershed management

The I-49 Lafayette connector remains a central issue for many Acadiana leaders, and the region's chamber of commerce is again pushing for money to complete the project.

In its list of legislative priorities, One Acadiana has called the I-49 connector "the most shovel-ready of any of the top megaprojects in the state."

In addition to the I-49 money, One Acadiana and other regional stakeholders are looking for money to empower regional watershed management, something that has become a front-of-mind issue for areas of the state that often face flooding, like Acadiana.

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