Rep. Henry Burns, R – Haughton, has received several state accolades recently, including a prestigious award given to legislators who uphold the Founding Fathers' beliefs.
Burns was awarded the Patrick Henry Award last week, the Legisgator Award last month, and a certificate of appreciation from the Department of Defense.
The Patrick Henry Award is given to legislators who vote along the lines of faith-based community issues such as prayer, pro-life, and Christian values.
Given by the Louisiana Family Forum, the group tracked 78 bills this past session and Burns was 100 percent in line with their “scorecard.”
Burns was humbled by the honor, but a little confused. How he voted this past session wasn't any different than three years ago.
“It's a natural manifestation of my beliefs. It's not political, it's personal — it's how I was raised,” said Burns. “And a vast majority of constituents I represent have similar feelings.”
The only issue he varied from when it came to being pro business was voting in favor of autism funding which put a mandate on the employer. A vote which Burns said isn't unusual.
“Those that know me, know that when it comes to the elderly and disabled, I'm going to side with them.”
Burns — along with fellow northwest Louisiana legislator Sen. Robert Adley, R – Benton —was presented with a Department of Defense a certificate of appreciation from Robert L. Gordon III, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Military Community and Family Policy.
The certificate was presented for the pair's work on HB 732.
This bill gives Louisiana-deployed military servicepeople and their spouses who have a certification in another state the ability to be employed immediately, instead of having to wait six months to a year for Louisiana's certification process.
“Being retired military myself, knowing I'm able to make life better for men and women in uniform is kind of my favorite,” he said.
Burns noted the hard work done by Adley and said the bill wouldn't have passed without his effort.
“It couldn't have been done without Senator Adley's effort in the Senate and his influence as chair of veterans affairs for the legislature,” Burns noted.
Finally, Burns was given the Legis-Gator award by the Southwest Regional Chamber in Lake Charles.
He was chosen for his efforts as I-49 committee chairman.
Burns was once again humble, noting that it was not his sole effort that saw I-49 move closer to becoming a reality for Louisiana.
“(The award) is a sign and symbol that we are one state and we work together. The legislators north of Alexandria will focus on helping (the southern Louisiana legislators) finish I-49 South,” he said.
Burns looks at the awards as a symbol that he and the rest of the northwest Louisiana delegation are getting the job done in Baton Rouge.
“Time on station and experience provides you ability to perform these actions in state government. All of northwest Louisiana is very blessed to have great representation in the legislature.”