Republican lawmaker resigns from Ways and Means Committee

Cites concerns over special interest groups

Ivey resigns from Ways and Means Committee
Louisiana state Rep. Barry Ivey, R-Central. (Wes Muller/LA Illuminator).

State Rep. Barry Ivey, a Republican from Central, resigned from his seat on the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, citing concerns that the committee is focused more on politics than policy. 

The three-term lawmaker had held a seat on the committee since last year and is known in capitol circles maintaining a certain independence — for example, stepping away from the party line on issues such as voter access. Ivey continues to serve on House and Governmental Affairs House Retirement, House Executive, House Select Leadership, and the Legislative Audit Advisory committees. 

Ivey said in an interview that the Ways and Means Committee can be a very demanding assignment even for a veteran legislator, often requiring late nights and hours of work just to prepare for meetings. Due to the committee’s primary subject matter — tax policy — the pressures from special interest groups can often make the committee too political and not sufficiently focused on policy, he said. 

“When the process becomes too driven by politics, it can become challenging for legislators to perform their true function as a committee member,” Ivey said in that Thursday interview. “It may be the traditional way of doing things — which I can respect — but some of us, and I think this is also true for a lot of the freshman class, many of us care more about working on policy — not politics. Policy is the only path that can lead to positive changes for the people we serve.”

Ivey submitted his resignation on Tuesday and was removed from Ways and Means that afternoon. He said he will redirect his efforts toward other legislative priorities. 

The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Stuart Bishop, R-Lafayette, could not be reached for comment.

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Wesley Muller
Wes Muller traces his journalism roots back to 1997 when, at age 13, he built and launched a hyper-local news website for his New Orleans neighborhood. In the following 22 years since then, he has worked as a journalist for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, the Sun Herald in Biloxi, WAFB-9News CBS in Baton Rouge, and the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, Mississippi. Much of his work has involved reporting on First Amendment issues and watchdog coverage of municipal and state government. He has received several honors and recognitions, including McClatchy's National President's Award, the Associated Press Freedom of Information Award, and the Daniel M. Phillips Freedom of Information Award from the Mississippi Press Association, among others. Muller is a New Orleans native, a Jesuit High School alumnus, a University of New Orleans alumnus, a veteran U.S. Army paratrooper, and an adjunct English teacher at Baton Rouge Community College. He lives in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, with his teenage son and his wife, who is also a journalist.