Baton Rouge, LA – April 1, 2020 – I am very appreciative of our first responders and essential workers during this pandemic. They serve on the front lines of this crisis, ensuring we continue delivering critical services to our community. In the last two weeks, our parish has ordered thousands of units of PPE, including masks, gloves and hand sanitizer, to ensure their proper protection in addressing this pandemic. We have also aligned our overtime policies for these employees with FEMA regulations. It’s important to remember that municipal budgets were not designed to handle a pandemic, particularly among small and medium-sized cities. Federal assistance is needed, and I am actively working to call for and support federal legislation providing hazard pay for healthcare workers, first responders and essential employees. In the meantime, we will examine all potential options to provide additional compensation for our first responders and essential workers who serve our community as we navigate this COVID-19 crisis.