Louisiana Association of Business and Industry
The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, known as LABI, is the largest and most successful business-lobbying group in the U.S. state of Louisiana. LABI serves as the state chamber of commerce and manufacturing association. It was founded in Baton Rouge in 1976, when Louisiana adopted a new right-to-work law during the administration of Democratic Governor Edwin Washington Edwards. After its success with right-to-work, LABI quickly unified into a visible, well-financed, fully staffed organization to speak for business year-round as well as during state legislative sessions. Today, the organization has over 2,500 members. The LABI motto is, "One voice. Amplified."
Stephen Waguespack, is the current President of LABI. Previously, he served in the administration of Governor Bobby Jindal. He worked on Jindal's 2007 gubernatorial campaign, served as the governor's executive counsel and chief of staff. He left the governor's office in 2012 to work as a lawyer for Baton Rouge law firm, Jones Walker. Upon entering the position, Waguespack said his goal for LABI is, "to unite the business community. If we can unite that community behind a strong, reform-minded agenda, that would be pretty powerful.”  As the President of LABI, Waguespack communicates his ideas for the organization and its members through meetings and articles posted to the "President's View" page on the LABI website.
LABI focuses on promoting a healthy Louisiana business environment for its member organizations. During the 2014 legislative session, LABI is targeting four areas it thinks will benefit Louisiana business most. Civil justice reform has been a hot topic for LABI for years. Louisiana's current civil justice practices increase business expenses and insurance coverage costs. LABI has fought to reform these practices to make it easier on existing business and to make the state more attractive to new business ventures. The organization is also pushing for legislature that benefits women in business and small businesses. Small businesses account for 97% of all employers in Louisiana and employ nearly 875,000 people. Louisiana is second in the nation for revenue increases in women-owned firms. Workforce Development is the final issue LABI will focus on this legislative session. Various companies have announced over $60 billion in new investments taking place in Louisiana in the coming year. New investments mean new jobs, and companies will need skilled workers to fill them. LABI has produced a four part plan to provide those workers with the help of legislators, educators and business owners. 
LABI divides the issues it advocates on behalf of into groups called councils. The councils are headed by a LABI lobbyist and a member of the LABI board.  The councils include: Civil Justice Reform, Education & Workforce Development, Employee Relations, Energy, Environmental Quality, Governmental Reform, Healthcare, Small Business, Taxation & Finance, Technology Advocacy and Trade, Tourism & Transportation.
Legislative Session Resources
LABI members are kept up to date during Louisiana State Legislature session via the LABI website. Member businesses can access daily updates about each Louisiana legislator, including a score that shows whether they vote for or against LABI. Legislators' voting records are also available to members, the site tells if a legislator voted for or against the interests of Louisiana businesses or if they were absent for the vote. Information about bills, committees and districts is also available to LABI members.