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The drug is responsible for a growing number of overdose deaths, about 93% in St. Tammany Parish.

By Paul Murphy | WWL TV

ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. — A Northshore state lawmaker is seeking up to life in prison for criminals convicted of manufacturing fentanyl. 

The drug is responsible for a growing number of overdose deaths, about 93% in St. Tammany Parish. 

Last month, 8 people in the parish died in just 12 days after taking the drug.

Last year, 140 people died in St. Tammany from fentanyl poisoning. 

This year, the parish is on pace to double that number. 

“Doing the math, 2 to 3 a week at least,” St. Tammany Coroner Dr. Charles Preston said. “It seems like every overdose death certificate I’m signing now has fentanyl on it.” 

"We’re seeing fentanyl-laced in just about everything, marijuana, all types of different pills from Adderall, Xanax, Percocet,” St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office Major Danny Culpepper said. What we’re also seeing is the amount. The smallest amount can kill.” 

Tuesday – Senator Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, who is also running for governor, announced she has filed a bill for the upcoming legislative session that seeks to crack down on the illegal manufacturing of the deadly drug. 

“I believe this legislation is going to send a message to those criminals that we don’t want your labs in Louisiana,” Hewitt said. “It’s time to pack up and get out of our neighborhoods.” 

Right now, manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance in Louisiana can result in a 5-to-15-year prison sentence. 

Under Hewitt’s bill, if you’re caught cooking up fentanyl or combining it with other drugs, you could face a minimum of 10 and up to 40 years in prison. 

A second conviction could get you no less than 30 and up to 40 years. Three strikes and you’re out. A third conviction carries a mandatory 99-year jail sentence. 

“As far as I’m concerned, I would like it to be two strikes and you’re out when it comes to fentanyl,” St. Tammany District Attorney Warren Montgomery said. “Hopefully we can drive down the supply of fentanyl and save lives.” 

The new penalties for fentanyl would also include up to $500,000 in fines.

Senator Hewitt’s bill goes after the drug manufacturer, but she says she is co-authoring another piece of legislation with Rep. Debbie Villio, R-Kenner, that proposes similar strict penalties against people who deal fentanyl. 

The bill is expected to be discussed during the upcoming legislative session which starts next month. It can be read here.

State Senator Sharon Hewitt (photo by Rodrick Anderson/American Press)

LAKE CHARLES—Three of seven candidates running for the office of governor spoke Thursday morning to Louisiana School Board Association members about their views on public education. A fourth candidate appeared via video (Landry). The candidates — state Sen. Sharon Hewitt, Attorney General Jeff Landry, attorney Hunter Lundy and state Rep. Richard Nelson — appeared during the association’s annual convention, held this year at Golden Nugget Casino Resort.

“People ask me all the time, ‘Why are you running?’ Well, our two sons went to out-of-state colleges, they’re working for companies out of state and they will probably never move back to Louisiana because there weren’t opportunities here for them,” Hewitt said. “What I want is a Louisiana where our families want to work here, and live here and retire here. Our sons were born and raised here and it breaks my heart that there aren’t opportunities here for them in Louisiana. As governor, I’m going to change that.”

The Lake Charles native and Barbe High School graduate said she has five areas she wants to focus on if elected governor — creating a world-class education system rich in technology to build “the workforce of tomorrow”; growing the economy with strong infrastructure and a tax system that “respects your hard-earned tax dollars”; affordable and reliable insurance and energy; safer neighborhoods and communities; and protecting personal freedoms. Hewitt said Senate Bill 222, which she sponsored, passed two years ago and goes into effect next year.

“This bill establishes for the first time in state history a uniform way of reporting how well students are reading,” she said. “We’re going to be checking that three times a year and there will be processes in place and opportunities for parents to know how well their children are reading. We are also teaching students who are studying higher education in higher education institutions the science of reading so they are ready to hit the ground running when they come into your school systems. These are all things are actually happening.” Hewitt said by the end of her first term as governor, all kindergarten through third grade students will be reading.

She also vowed to bring computer science courses to every grade level to get Louisiana students ready for the global economy. “Louisiana students are getting left behind,” she said. “Louisiana is 49th in the percentage of high schools offering a computer science class. To show you how much of an opportunity we are missing, last year in Louisiana we had 5,441 job openings per month in the computer field, and we only had 568 graduates in computer science. We have tremendous opportunities and yet we’re not filling the pipeline.”   Hewitt also said she supports education savings accounts. “I am an advocate for public schools; I’m a product of public schools, my kids are, my mom was a teacher. That’s always where my priority is going to be,” she said. “But for those children that do not succeed in a public school environment, I do believe we should give them options. It’s important to give parents choices, and parents options.”

Click here to read the full article on Lobservateur

>> Senator Hewitt creates Louisiana STEM initiative

>> Gubernatorial candidate and Lake Charles native Sharon Hewitt shares her vision

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Decision puts her at odds with GOP-endorsed gubernatorial foe Landry

By Victor Skinner | The Center Square contributor

Sen. Bret Allain, R-Franklin, left, chairman of the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee, talks with Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, and Sen. Patrick McMath, R-Covington, during opening day of the Louisiana legislative session in Baton Rouge, La. in 2021. AP Photo / Gerald Herbert

(The Center Square) — Louisiana Republican gubernatorial candidate Sen. Sharon Hewitt is promising to shut down all coastal litigation involving alleged damage from energy companies.

"On my first day in office, I will instruct my Secretary of Natural Resources to immediately pause all coastal litigation," Hewitt, the Senate majority leader, told the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association in Lake Charles on Monday. "I will not allow baseless litigation to be weaponized against the oil industry, holding producers to made-up standards fabricated to enrich trial lawyers. I will not do it."

Hewitt's comments follow a decision by officials at the Department of Natural Resources in late October to override the objections of local leaders to sign onto a proposed $100 million settlement with Freeport-McMoRan on behalf of four parishes that refused.

The settlement involves one of 43 ongoing lawsuits from coastal parishes that allege more than 200 energy companies damaged the coastline by creating canals and other development, despite federal permits authorizing the work.

The Freeport-McMoRan settlement would require the company to pay $23.5 million over the next two decades to fund coastal restoration projects, while the remainder of the money would be funneled into an environmental credit scheme that critics have likened to a political slush fund.

Councilmen in multiple parishes have criticized the proposed settlement, alleging the trial attorneys behind it stand to reap millions from the deal.

The pro-energy Grow Louisiana Coalition has worked to urge parishes to reject the settlement, as well, pointing to $435 million the oil and gas industry has contributed to coastal work since 2017.

"The number one reason is it's better to work with the oil and gas industry in south Louisiana than to work against it," Marc Ehrhardt previously told The Center Square.

Research from the Pelican Institute shows the state lost 2,000 jobs in the two years after the coastal lawsuits were first filed in 2013, resulting in $70 million in lost wages. The policy group estimates between $43 million and $113 million in annual economic losses since the lawsuits were filed, which equates to a $22.6 million loss for state and local governments for schools, roads and other infrastructure.

Before becoming a lawmaker, Hewitt worked for Shell for two decades, initially on an offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico before working her way up to a high-ranking executive charged with overseeing hundreds of employees and billions in deep water assets.

In Lake Charles, the Slidell Republican called for an in-depth review of any allegations by the DNR's long standing regulatory and administrative enforcement authority.

"We know that over the last 40 years, DNR has issued hundreds, if not thousands, of citations for violations of our coastal laws and regulations," she said. "Unlike these lawsuits, DNR has never sued or cited anyone for things that took place before any laws or regulations were in place. We don't have ex post facto laws in Louisiana — it's a violation of the most basic principles of our legal system. True violations should be handled through citations, in accordance with DNR regulations and state law."

Hewitt's position on the coastal litigation stands in contrast to her Republican competition for governor, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, who in 2021 signed off on the Freeport-McMoRan settlement.

Read the full story at The Center Square.

By Jeff Palermo - Louisiana Radio Network

State lawmakers have approved legislation that sets up a 45-million dollar incentive fund that will be used to bring more insurance companies to Louisiana that will offer homeowners coverage. Senate Insurance Chairman Kirk Talbot says the goal is to reduce the number of Citizens Property Insurance policyholders who face a 63-percent rate hike this year.

“People need help, we need to respond and we are here to solve problems, in my opinion we need to pass this bill and give relief to people who need it,” said Talbot.

The bill passed on a 37-to-1 vote in the Senate on Friday. Bossier City Senator Barrow Peacock was the lone no vote as he questioned whether the incentive fund would actually lead to more insurers who can supply homeowners coverage.

“Why would any insurance company want to take on a risk of a policy in Citizen or in the coastal parishes two months before hurricane season starts,” said Peacock.

Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt says this is not the silver bullet to Louisiana’s insurance crisis and lawmakers will need to continue to address the problem even more in the regular session that starts in April.

“So that Louisiana is a place where insurance companies want to work and where are families and businesses can afford the insurance they need to be successful,” said Hewitt.

Senator Sharon Hewitt takes to the Senate floor: "Rising Insurance costs is one of the biggest problems we face in Louisiana today."

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By Crystal Stevenson

LAKE CHARLES, La (American Press) - Lake Charles native and Barbe High School graduate Sharon Hewitt said she brings a different set of skills to the table in her race for Louisiana’s next governor.

The Republican state senator, who is based in Slidell and represents District 1, spoke with the American Press editorial board via phone to share her vision of what the state could become under her leadership.

“I come from an energy background and no one is going to navigate the energy business and protect energy jobs better than I will,” she said. “I have a legislative background; not everyone in the race has served in the Legislature. I’ve been on the finance committee. I know the budget, I know where the money is, I know which agencies are performing well and which ones have challenges and what the opportunities are to correct those. I’ve been a volunteer for many years. I’ve been the PTA president more times than I can count and received the National Lifetime PTA Achievement Award because of the work that I did, which has been very consistent with my legislative work — focusing on technology jobs, better curriculum and higher standards for our students.”

As a wife, mother and now grandmother, Hewitt said she understands the difficulties families are facing with balancing their budgets when they’re looking at $5 now for a dozen eggs. “Families are having to walk away from their homes because they can’t afford it,” she said. “The high cost of insurance, mortgages, interest rates, flood insurance, I understand all that and I understand the heartache when your sons move away from the state of Louisiana after being born and raised here because they can’t find opportunities in Louisiana in their chosen fields.” Hewitt said all of those things have helped prepare her to lead the state.

“I bring a different set of skills and I think it’s exactly the set of skills Louisiana needs at this point in our history.”


Individual and corporate income taxes have already been reduced and the 0.45 sales tax increase of 2018 goes off the books in 2025. Hewitt said she plans to reduce taxes even more.

“What we did last year in the Legislature and with the constitutional amendment our citizens passed put our state on a path to get to zero state income tax,” she said. “Most people don’t even realize that that’s what we did. We lowered the tax bracket on personal income tax from 6 percent, 4 percent, 2 percent to 4.25 percent as the top bracket and the other two were adjusted down also. Then we put a trigger in the law that says in years of exceptional revenue — and it defines how that is determined — that we would automatically reduce the tax brackets down and they can never go back up. The idea and the goal and what people don’t seem to realize is we are committed in the state of Louisiana to getting to a zero state income tax.” She said legislation approved by lawmakers and voters to do just that kicks in this year.

“Personal state income tax is a $4 billion line item in the state budget; the state’s part of the budget is around $20 billion, the federal piece of it is $20 billion. A $4 billion hit to a $20 billion state-funded budget is a significant piece so we couldn’t do that in one fell swoop. We had to do it step by step in a prudent way.” Something else she’d like to fix if elected governor is the state’s complicated tax code.

“Part of the problem with political solutions is that you kind of just Band-Aid over what was previously bad tax policy and just keep Band-Aiding over it,” she said. “We really need to be able to take it to a clean slate. One of the solutions that has been talked about a lot that I support is holding a constitutional convention that allows you to basically look at all the different ways that we fund government and look at not only simplifying our tax code but also restructuring the relationship between state and local government in terms of how they are funded and how decisions are made. We need to be able to push more authority toward local governments and provide opportunities for them to raise their own revenue so that everything doesn’t have to funnel through Baton Rouge.” Hewitt said Louisiana’s tax code is complicated because the state generally has higher tax rates that are often offset to make the state more competitive with hundreds of tax exemptions and credits.

“What happens is when site selectors look at our state, compare us to other states and look for places to relocate businesses or establish a corporate headquarters, they put just a big question mark next to Louisiana when they’re trying to evaluate that company’s forward-looking tax liability because it’s so complicated and it’s very difficult to predict. We have to flip off the Band-Aids and look at all the different ways both state and local government is funded so that we can level the playing field a little bit and make our state more attractive to businesses and families.” Hewitt said the state has been spending a lot of one-time money on infrastructure and it’s something she would like to continue. “When you look at roads, bridges, ports and airports, our wish list and needs are not fully funded,” Hewitt said. “That’s a great way to invest one-time dollars because we have such a backlog and those things are creating jobs, which helps rev up the economic engine. I’d like to see some more investments in courts, and I’d like to see us focus on smaller, locally owned bridges.”

Hewitt said there are thousands of bridges around the state that need to be repaired or replaced before they get to the point that they’re unsafe and need to be shut down. Case in point: the Interstate 10/Calcasieu River bridge. “That bridge is important to me because I grew up in Lake Charles,” she said. “I’ve been driving on that bridge for a very long time. When I got my driver’s license, the crowning achievement on the last day of class was to drive over that bridge without having a heart attack.” She said there aren’t many routes to get across a body of water so bridge closures cause families and the trucking industry to make 30- or 40-mile detours to find alternate routes.


Hewitt said the best way to grow the state economy is to provide better and higher-paying jobs. “You reduce your taxes, you increase the high-paying jobs and the secret sauce to doing that is to have a more educated workforce — one that has the skills that the businesses in our state need,” she said. “When you have a company like Boeing tell me that they have 200 job openings that they cannot fill and they’re having to go to other states to fill those openings, that breaks my heart. We’re hearing those stories all around the state.” She said much of the work she has championed in the Legislature helps to address that, including establishing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) centers around the state. “The job of these centers is to connect the dots between what are the skills industries in that area need to make sure that our educational institutions are aligned so that we are providing the skills that students in Louisiana need so they can go to work with Louisiana companies and stay right here in our home state and businesses don’t have to look elsewhere for the talent that they need,” she said. Hewitt said she’s done a lot of work in providing alternate pathways in high school for students to concurrently earn a high school diploma along with an industry-based certification, apprenticeship or two-year degree. “They can go directly into the workforce upon graduation from high school, in many cases making $60,000 a year starting salary,” she said. “These are things not like the traditional welding and air conditioning repair like it was back in my day, but things like Cloud computing and computer coding and nursing and EMT — the kinds of opportunities that are being made available in many of our high schools. We have to prepare our workforce for the technology needs of the global economy and I’ve focused a lot on computer science and computer coding in our schools.” She said in Louisiana, only 30 percent of high schools offer computer science courses. In the states surrounding Louisiana, that number is 90 percent. “We’re falling behind,” she said. “Whether our students go into technology fields or not, everybody needs a basic understanding of technology these days to just survive on an everyday basis.” Hewitt said she’s also passionate about literacy, citing half of Louisiana’s third-graders are reading below that grade level when they move on to fourth grade. “If we could do one thing and only one thing in education it should be to teach our kids to read,” she said. “We need to be acting like our hair’s on fire on this issue.” Louisiana State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley said Hewitt’s Reading Education Savings Account Program legislation, which was passed last year, was the “most significant literacy bill in recent history.” The law creates an account for parents of students struggling to read to use to improve their child’s education outside of the public school system. Students who are not reading at grade level by second or third grade would be eligible for the accounts funded with the per-pupil state allotment for qualified education expenses, which include tuition, fees, textbooks, instructional or tutoring services, curriculum, and technological devices. She also championed a bill the year before that requires public schools to create and develop a literary assessment for every K-3 student. It would be given within the first 30 days from the beginning of school, and the results would tell teachers and principals the percentage of students reading below, at or above grade level. If a student is found to be below the reading level for that grade, the school would have to notify the parent or guardian in writing within 15 days. The school would also have to provide the parent or guardian mid-year and end-of-the-year updates as well as suggest tools to use at home to increase the student’s reading level. “Many times, parents are caught off guard and don’t realize their child is behind,” Hewitt said. “If you are not reading by the time you leave third grade, you are destined for a lifetime of challenges. We don’t teach reading in the fourth grade, we’re assuming you know how to read and now you’re reading for comprehension to learn science and social study. We’re doing a huge disservice to our readers by not getting them reading long before the third grade.” Hewitt said in the upcoming legislation, she plans to take on the math challenges students face. “Our students are not where they should be performing on math skills, either, because we’ve gotten away from the basics,” she said. “We’re not teaching the basic addition and multiplication facts, for example. I think it’s time for us to take education and say, ‘We’ve had enough. We can’t just keep tweaking around the edges. We have to be completely committed to getting our kids where they need to be so they can compete in a global economy.’ ”


Hewitt, who earned a mechanical engineering degree from LSU and went on to become one of the first female executives in a major oil and gas company, said no one will be a stronger advocate for oil and gas jobs in Louisiana than her. Before becoming a legislator, Hewitt took charge of Shell’s central deepwater assets situated in the Gulf of Mexico, a division of more than 160 employees with a budget in excess of a quarter of a billion dollars a year. In that position, she said she oversaw roughly 10 percent of the oil production in the United States and was trusted with managing billions of dollars in assets. “Shell was the No. 1 company on the Fortune 500 list when I was there,” she said. “I say that because I learned my leadership skills with some of the best leaders in the world. I learned ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ from Stephen Covey himself. Not only was I given great opportunities for formal leadership training but also through the job that I was given and the opportunities that I had there. I started out as all new young engineers do on a drilling rig for a year. There weren’t women offshore. There were unique challenges because many people did not think that women belonged in the oil industry. Fast forward 20 years and I was managing Shell’s central deepwater Gulf of Mexico business.” Hewitt said her background makes her the best person to  help Louisiana navigate and open its doors to other energy businesses. “There’s tremendous interest in our state, certainly in LNG,” she said. “I’ve done a lot to help fund some of the research required for other energy businesses in our four-year institutions so that Louisiana will be well-positioned to be an energy leader in all aspects of energy. Oil and gas is not going away and I’m going to stand up for Louisiana in fighting those bad policies coming from the federal government that will hurt Louisiana and will hurt jobs. There’s nothing more important to our state than being energy independent and not dependent on those countries that are bad actors or not friends of the United States and no one can do that like the state of Louisiana.”

CLICK HERE to watch Sharon Hewitt's announcement video.

Senator Sharon Hewitt, Republican District 1, joins Newell to talk about the announcement that she's running for governor of Louisiana.

>>CLICK HERE to watch Sharon Hewitt's Governor campaign announcement video.

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St Tammany Corporation - Sep 22, 2020

Today, Chris Masingill, St. Tammany Corporation CEO, is pleased to announce an award was presented by the St. Tammany Parish Development District at its September Board of Commissioners meeting to Senator Sharon Hewitt honoring her as a St. Tammany Champion of Economic Development. The award recognizes her service to St. Tammany Parish during the 2020 First Extraordinary Legislative Session and the 2020 Regular Session.

Senator Hewitt continues to provide ongoing support of resources and tools for business retention, expansion, and attraction at the state level, and champions sustainable economic development in St. Tammany Parish as a valued partner of St. Tammany Corporation. Her efforts to secure additional funding to local entities has also provided St. Tammany Corporation with critical resources to continue economic development activities while the local economy experiences the ongoing effects and impacts of the pandemic.

“I am humbled to be recognized by the St. Tammany Corporation for my support of economic development in our parish.  Not only does a healthy economy generate tax revenue to fund needed services for our community, but it also creates jobs for our citizens that allow them to better provide for their families. I look forward to continuing to partner with St. Tammany Corporation to bring new opportunities to our parish.”

“We are grateful to have Senator Sharon Hewitt representing our community in the state legislature. I sincerely appreciate her guidance, leadership, and sound advice as it relates to economic development priorities and initiatives,” said Masingill. “We started our St. Tammany Champions of Economic Development campaign in May 2019 to highlight the importance of economic development in St. Tammany and to honor public servants, business and community leaders who support job growth, wealth creation and the efforts of St. Tammany Corporation. Senator Hewitt is very deserving of this honor.”

“Senator Hewitt is a leader in the state delegation who values the role of economic development at the local, regional, and state levels,” stated Marty Mayer, St. Tammany Parish Development District Board President. “She fosters collaboration amongst stakeholders and partners to build coalitions as a tireless leader in workforce development, talent retention, and STEM education.”

(Senate Bill 203, by Senator Hewitt, passed the legislature but was vetoed by Governor Edwards).

By Victor Skinner - The Center Square

(The Center Square) — A bill to create a Reading Education Savings Account Program for struggling students cleared the Louisiana Senate.

Lawmakers approved Senate Bill 203, sponsored by Senator Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, with a vote of 24-13 to create accounts parents of students struggling to read can use to improve their education outside of the public school system.

Students who are not reading at grade level by second or third grade would be eligible for the accounts funded with the per-pupil state allotment for qualified education expenses, which include tuition, fees, textbooks, instructional or tutoring services, curriculum, and technological devices.

Senator Sharon Hewitt introduced Senate Bill 203 to help address Louisiana's reading crisis for our youngest readers.

"If you’re a parent of a second- or third-grade student who is not reading on grade level, time is of the essence," Hewitt said on Monday. "You know that if your child is not reading by the fourth grade, they’re destined for a lifetime of challenges."

Hewitt said over half of second- and third-graders in Louisiana are not reading at grade level, and touted the accountability measures in the bill to ensure SB 203 is working to improve their situation.

"Those children will have to take tests, accountability tests, so we’ll know whether this new school environment is working or not," she said. "Those providers who are providing that education will also be evaluated to whether or not they’re really performing and doing a good job, if they’re not they’re taken off the approved list."

Hewitt noted that the bill would dedicate the average amount for per-pupil funding of about $5,500 to each account, but would leave local school funding in place. The bill also allows the state to use up to 5% of the funding for administrative expenses to ensure parents are using the money for qualified expenses.

Sen. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, questioned whether lawmakers have given other programs designed to improve reading enough time to work, but Hewitt countered that parents of struggling students don’t have time to wait it out.

"If you have a child that’s in second or third grade, you’re in crisis mode, you can’t wait … and said I’m going to wait a few years for these programs to work, because now your child is in the fourth grade or fifth grade or whatever and they’ve missed the window," Hewitt said.

"We have a very small window from kindergarten to third grade to get these kids reading on grade level," she said. "And so that’s my sense of urgency is giving them some choices right now and when we get all these programs up and running, I hope we have the best literacy program in the country and we don’t have an ESA account because everybody is going to want to be in our public schools."

Some lawmakers questioned how the bill would impact the retirement system for teachers, while others raised concerns about diverting public funds to private institutions.

"We are institutionalizing defunding public education with an idea we don’t know if it’s going to work or not," said Sen. Joe Bouie, D-New Orleans.

"One thing we do know is for those kids who are not reading on grade level, we have to do something now," Hewitt said. "We have to have such a sense of urgency that we’re doing all of the above."

She also stressed that providers for the Reading Education Savings Account program must be approved by the Louisiana Department of Education under the bill, and students who participate will take accountability tests "so we’re going to know if they really did improve or not."

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State Sen. Sharon Hewitt said she probably won’t decide for months whether she’ll run for governor next year.

If she does, she could make history: Louisiana has never had a female Republican governor. 

Kathleen Blanco, who was governor from 2004-08, was a Democrat.

Hewitt, who lives in Slidell, said she would highlight her efforts to improve childhood literacy, noting that 60% of Louisiana’s third graders cannot read at grade level.

Hewitt passed Senate Bill 222 last year, which requires each public school to administer a literacy assessment to each K-3rd grade child each year to better identify how to improve reading levels overall.

This year, Hewitt is sponsoring Senate Bill 203, which would allow parents whose children are not reading at grade level in second or third grade in a public school to take the state portion of their public school dollars, about $5,500, to pay for private or home schooling.

If she becomes a gubernatorial candidate, Hewitt also said she would highlight her efforts to encourage more students to pursue studies in math and sciences.

That goal stems from Hewitt’s background as an LSU graduate in mechanical engineering who was one of the first women to work on an offshore drilling rig when she started out with Shell. Hewitt moved up to bigger jobs but quit after 20 years to focus on raising her two sons.

When they had graduated from college, she ran for the state Senate in 2015 and won, even though, Hewitt said, “no one in my family has been involved in politics.”

She won re-election in 2019.

Last year, Hewitt passed Senate Bill 124, which requires the playing of the National Anthem at athletic events held at venues at least partially financed by state or local governments.

This year, Hewitt sponsored the map passed by the Legislature to create five Republican-majority congressional districts and one Democratic district. Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed the legislation because he favored a four-to-two split. The Legislature overrode his veto. A federal court will decide who’s right.

“I’ve proven to be effective in delivering results,” said Hewitt, whose district also includes a slice of Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes. “I am pro-life, pro-gun, pro-business, pro-family. I have a conservative track record.”

Hewitt, 63, was asked how she views her possible historic bid.

“I’ve spent a lifetime working in male-dominated fields,” she said. “I never wanted special consideration because I’m a female. I always wanted to be judged on my performance. I feel the same way about elected office. Let’s choose the best person."

Still, she noted, “It’s a good time to be a female candidate. My experiences will be different than many of my male colleagues.”

April 15, 2022 - Source - The Advocate - by Tyler Bridges

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This bill outlawing mail order abortion pills in Louisiana was passed and signed into law by the Governor and went into effect on August 1, 2022. This article was shortened for brevity and the full article is linked below.

By Chris Rosato - WAFB

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, wants to make it illegal to buy abortion pills without a prescription from a licensed physician and penalize companies selling abortion pills to women without a prescription.

“We think that’s good policy, it’s good for the health of the woman and it certainly brings a medical professional into the conversation,” said Sen. Hewitt.

The FDA, under the Biden administration, opened the door for women to get abortion pills in the mail.

Sen. Hewitt says companies outside of Louisiana are supplying pills to women anyway.

“Yes, and they’re doing it by mail order now since December of 2021. And so, there’s no requirement for pregnancy tests, you know, there’s just no checks and balances when it comes to the health of the woman,” Sen. Hewitt explained.

The penalty for buying or selling these pills without a prescription, depending on the offense and your age could range from financial penalties to jail time.

“While we want to protect every unborn child, we also want to make sure these women are not accessing these abortion pills from places that aren’t providing good services and good examinations of a woman’s current state,” said Ben Clapper with Louisiana Right to Life.

Senator Sharon Hewitt summarizes Senate Bill 388, which outlaws mail order abortion pills before the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.

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