Public Policy

GNO, Inc. collaborates with business leaders from across the region to serve as a unified voice in both Baton Rouge and Washington D.C. by advocating for legislative polices that make our business climate competitive, encourage investment, and reduce risk.


  • Work with legislative delegations to develop and forward state and federal legislative initiatives and strategies that will help promote attraction and retention of companies in the six target industries
  • Actively support and lead statewide and regional efforts focused on addressing issues that fundamentally affect the region’s ability to recruit and retain companies and residents

2017 Louisiana Legislative Priorities


    • Incentives Defense and Improvement – GNO, Inc. will defend economic development incentives that are improving the state’s business climate, primarily:

o Digital Media
o Angel Investor
o Quality Jobs
o Research and Development

    • Angel Investor Tax Credit Reauthorization and Improvement – GNO, Inc. supported reauthorization of and improvement to the Angel Investor Tax Credit, HB 454 by Rep. Abramson. The bill has been signed into law.
    • Research and Development Incentive – GNO, Inc. supported legislation to restore the R&D incentive for small businesses, HB 300 by Rep. Paula Davis. The bill has been signed into law.


    • Gas Tax – GNO, Inc. supported HB 632 by Rep. Steve Carter, legislation increasing the state’s gas tax by $0.10 to fund infrastructure projects and improvements and generate sufficient state matching funds to fully access federal transportation dollars. The bill ultimately did not receive House consideration.
    • Coastal Restoration – GNO, Inc. supported the passage of the 2017 Master Plan, SCR 1 by Sen. Dan W. Morrish, and 2018 Annual Plan, SR 1 by Sen. Morrish and HR 1 by Rep. Jerome Zeringue. GNO, Inc. supported HB 618 by Rep. Ray Garofolo to expand the authority of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Financing Corporation to finance payments from the RESTORE Act and Natural Resources Damages Act as well as HB 596 by Rep. Walt Leger authorizing CPRA to use an outcome-based performance contract delivery method. All coastal bills have been signed by the Governor.

Business Issues

    • Industrial Property Tax Exemptions – GNO, Inc. supported HB 444 and 445 by Rep. Seabuagh to establish a framework for and clarify the PILOT process. Both bills have passed the House but ultimately died in Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs.

Criminal Justice Reform

    • Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force – GNO, Inc. supported the compromise criminal justice package. The package has been signed into law.

Higher Educational

    • Fee Autonomy – GNO, Inc. supported HB 113 by Rep. Broadwater, which allows the higher education management board to continue to have fee autonomy. The bill has been signed into law.

2017 Federal Priorities

Infrastructure Investments

    • GNO, Inc. supports federal investments in our region’s infrastructure. Our region’s port system is at an inflection point, and strategic investments could benefit the region for generations to come. Further, our region continues to work more closely with Baton Rouge, and connecting the Super Region via rail will allow us to compete on a larger scale with other super regions (e.g. Houston). Greater investments in our roadways and bridges are needed as well. Coastal restoration will be positioned as a key national infrastructure priority in the new administration, highlighting across cabinets/departments the job creation and economic benefits–as well as protection for national energy infrastructure–that implementation of the CPRA Master Plan will provide.

2017 Reauthorization of NFIP

    • GNO, Inc. is working through the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance to begin preparations for a 2017 reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. GNO, Inc. is focusing reforms in four major areas:

      o Affordability
      o Mapping Process
      o Mitigation
      o Program Participation

Support for Coastal Restoration

    • GNO, Inc. supports the following policies that would expedite and provide additional funding for coastal restoration:
    • o Preservation of GOMESA funding
      o Requiring the Corps to use beneficial use of dredged material
      o Bonding authority for the RESTORE Council
      o Reduce or remove the HSDRRS loan payments from Louisiana to the USACE

Support for Regional Military Assets

    • GNO, Inc. supports the strengthening of our region’s military assets, which represent a major economic driver for Greater New Orleans. To that end, the following items are critical for our region:
    • o Preservation of GOMESA funding

      o New funding for replacement F/A 18 Hornets
      o Maintenance funding for La. Air National Guard (LANG) F-15 through 2025
      o Ensure LANG retains its emergency response mission at Belle Chasse

    • Advocate to the Air Force to name NAS-JRB Belle Chasse one of the first Air National Guard, F-35 Strikefighter Squadrons
    • Ensure that NAS-JRB Belle Chase secures necessary MILCON funding for necessary base transportation and security improvements

Support for the Economic Development Administration

    • GNO, Inc. supports the continued funding of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDAO). Over the past nine years, EDA’s investments in Greater New Orleans have resulted in the creation of over 3,000 jobs and the investment has leveraged over $3 billion in private investment.


    • GNO, Inc. supports deepening the mouth of the Mississippi River to 50’, which allow for ease of navigation for ships entering our ports system. GNO, Inc. supports free trade and urges that it remain a top priority for the Louisiana Congressional delegation. In recent years, Louisiana exports doubled from $32 billion in 2009 to more than $65 billion in 2014. Our exports have increased an astounding 227 percent in the past decade. In fact, 25 percent of Louisiana’s GDP is from exports, the largest amount ever recorded for any U.S. state and favorably compared with the export powerhouse of Germany. Regardless of the metric, Louisiana’s economy depends upon robust international trade.

Advanced Manufacturing

    • GNO, Inc. supports fill funding for the Space Launch System and Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, to be constructed at the Michoud Assembly Facility
    • Public Policy Staff

      Caitlin Berni
      Director of External Affairs
      t: 504-527-6980