A controversial piece of proposed State legislation has Lafayette police and local government up in arms. State Rep. Joel Robideaux has filed a bill that would guarantee Lafayette police a 2-percent raise every year as long as local sales tax collection exceeds 3-percent. Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel joined “Nathan and Bernie in the Morning” to discuss the proposed legislation and to explain why he feels it is a dangerous precedent.

I don’t think it’s the details that matter, it’s the state telling us how to run our business that matters.

"I don’t think anybody wants the state telling the local government how to spend local taxes," remarked Durel. "It puts our council in a horrible position, talking about how it’s a poor precedent and a poor policy makes them come across as not caring about the police officers."

The heart of the issue is the guaranteed annual raise for Lafayette fire fighters mandated by the state. Durel says the state mandated fire fighter raise bred contention when money was tight.

We went through some tough times here, like everyone else in America, fortunately we had a savings account that could carry us through, but we didn’t give pay raises, except to the fire department, which is demoralizing to everyone else.

That’s the result of the state getting into local government business.  - Joey Durel

Durel says Lafayette government has done an admirable job ensuring Lafayette police receive competitive wages, noting a pay plan put in place just a few years ago to make Lafayette police the 2nd highest paid police force in the state.

Still, Durel contends that his main objection to the state bill is not the details, but the idea of state government mandating how local government spends local tax dollars.

I don’t think it’s the details that matter, it’s the state telling us how to run our business that matters. - Joey Durel

To listen to the full audio from the interview, click the play button below: