BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Treasurer John Schroder has served in state government for 15 years and is pushing for Louisiana’s highest office.
He brings a hard line when it comes to fiscal responsibility.
“I’m the bank for the state. You see where all the money gets spent,” Schroder said.
Dubbed a fiscal hawk when he served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 2008-17, he knows that when running the government, there has to be a hand offered across the aisle.
“That can’t be their idea or my idea. It has to be our idea,” Schroder said.
Serving as treasurer since 2017, Schroder has not had much of a say in the state’s spending. He has made a splash in national news after coming out against investing in companies that take positions on Environment, Social and Governance (ESG). The treasurer pulled $800 million of investment funds from BlackRock, saying it was attacking oil and gas states.
As governor, he wants to focus on educating kids to keep them from a life of crime. The key, he said, is making sure education is fully funded starting in early childhood.
“Every ill will we face in this state comes from a lack of a first-class public school system. That will be a focus, and we’ll just have to go find the money and not spend it in some places where it’s being spent,” Schroder said.
He supports letting the half-cent sales tax roll off, though there will have to be some shuffling in the budget. Schroder is familiar with it after budgeting in the Jindal years as a House member. He led a group of freshmen legislators in being critical of state spending and tried to rein in the state budget.
The former narcotics sheriff’s detective has also come up close and personal with crime. He said his experience fighting crime on the streets has helped him learn about how law enforcement agencies need to communicate.
“It is a culture when it comes to crime. The criminal — particularly the violent criminals — have to fear the repercussions. Because if you don’t, you’re just not going to get control of it,” Schroder said.
He plans to start working on the issue right away by investing in law enforcement officers and using the State Police to aid cities where crime is rising.
“The State Police cannot go in and police all these towns. But we need to be good partners. We need to lend support and assets,” Schroder said.
At the center of his campaign, Schroder wants to tackle cronyism. Reform has been talked about for many years but remains within the walls of the state Capitol to this day.
“Never have been bought. I have never tried to buy somebody off this in any way, shape or form,” Schroder said.
He disagrees with social issues playing a role in how money is doled out at the Capitol. Regarding the legislation aimed at LGBTQ people, Schroder said he is open to listening to anyone but also firmly believes in the legislative process.
“We’ll take a look at everything that comes across. But if the legislature sends you something that’s overwhelmingly supported, I don’t know if there’s a scenario where I don’t sign that bill,” Schroder said.
He joins the chorus of other candidates saying they are interested in calling a special session to deal with the insurance crisis many homeowners are feeling in their wallets. He goes so far as to say there could be multiple sessions on the issue.
He emphasizes his stance on being able to work with people he disagrees with.
“When you live 62 years, you find out there’s more than one opinion in the world and it’s not mine,” Schroder said. “And… I mean, if you’re going to be successful in life, you need to listen to people. And you need to listen to people you don’t agree with more than anything if you’re going to make some progress.”
The primary is on Oct. 14. The general election will be on Nov. 18.