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Monday, February 27, 2017
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Panelist Bio


Sen. Neil Riser
R- Columbia, sponsor of SB303 gun rights bill which became the “Strict Scrutiny” state constitutional amendment

Neil Riser is the state Senator for District 32. District 32 encompasses all of Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, Franklin, LaSalle, and West Feliciana parishes and parts of Avoyelles, Ouachita, Rapides, and Richland parishes. Sen. Riser is Chairman of the Senate Revenue & Fiscal Affairs Committee and is a member of several committees including the Homeland Security Committee. Sen. Riser was the sponsor of SB303 to strengthen Louisiana gun rights through the “Strict Scrutiny” state constitutional amendment. Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action is quoted as saying “No other state has passed a right to keep and bear arms constitutional amendment as strong as Louisiana’s.”

Senator Riser is president and owner of the Riser Funeral Homes located in Caldwell and LaSalle parishes. He serves as a board member of the Caldwell Bank and Trust Company. He is also the past president of the Pelican State Life Insurance Company. Neil has a strong background in the timber industry and has worked in logging and timber since the age of 14

After graduating from Caldwell Parish High School in 1980, Neil obtained a B.A. in Business Management from Northeast Louisiana University in 1984.
Senator Riser is happily married to Vicki Smith Riser. Vicki, native of Franklin Parish and former teacher at River Oaks High School in Monroe, is currently managing Riser Funeral Home. Neil and Vicki are the proud parents of two daughters, Emilie and Allison Riser.

Current Topic


     02/17 - Black & the Blue

What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve?
Last year’s shooting of an African-American male in Baton Rouge by two white police officers re-ignited a national debate on how law enforcement interacts with minority communities. Nationwide demonstrations were ultimately marred by the targeted ambush of 12 white officers in Dallas and the killing of three members of law enforcement in Baton Rouge. What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve? How can Louisiana’s Capital City productively move beyond these events? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on a special town hall edition, “Black & the Blue” Wednesday, February 22 at 7pm; Sunday, February 26 at 1pm and Tuesday, February 28 at 10pm after the State of the Union address on LPB HD. In New Orleans on WLAE, Wednesday, February 22 at 7 PM. (Recorded Monday, February 20)

Our panelists will be:
• Fr. Rick Andrus, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Together BR
• Darrell Basco, state president of Fraternal Order of Police
• Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President of Baton Rouge
• Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge; Public Safety Task Force
• Stephanie Riegel; Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Reverend Raymond Jetson, pastor of Star Hill Church host the program. Robyn Merrick with the Southern University System and Bob Mann with LSU’s Manship School will moderate the discussion.
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     03/17 - Fiscal Reform 2017

Is it time to reform Louisiana’s tax code?

Recent Topics


     01/17 - Healthy New Year!

What is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture?

     12/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home (Encore Presentation)

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

     11/16- Beyond the Flood

What lessons did residents and state officials learn from this historic event and what challenges remain?

     10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?
»»» View all Topics!
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Monday, February 27, 2017
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