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About Clay Schexnayder

Representative Clay Schexnayder, the 69th Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives, is a conservative Republican who was first elected to the body in 2011 to serve District 81, representing the citizens of Ascension, Livingston, St. James and St. John Parishes.

During his time in the Legislature, Speaker Schexnayder served for 4 years as the Chairman of the Agriculture, Forestry and Aquaculture Committee, as well as a member of Civil Law and Procedure, Natural Resources and Environment, Labor and Industrial Relations, and Ways and Means Committees. In addition, he has served as a member of the Legislative Audit Advisory Council and the Select Committee on Homeland Security. He continues to be an active member of the Acadiana Delegation, the Capitol Region Delegation, the Republican Delegation and the Rural Caucus. As Speaker, he is now an ex-officio member on all House of Representatives Standing Committees.

Schexnayder was instrumental in securing funds to complete more than 85 miles of road projects in his district, including a $4 million appropriation to begin widening LA70 from LA22 to the Sunshine Bridge, $2.8 million to widen LA444 from Gum Swamp Road to LA22, and initial work to widen LA44 south of I-10, as well as build a round about at LA22 and LA16. He also secured a traffic signal at the intersection of US61 and LA54 in Garyville and $21 million in funding for the state’s portion of the $200 million Blind River Fresh Water Diversion Project.

He led an effort to fund a joint Wildlife and Fisheries Department and Livingston and Ascension Parish Sheriffs’ outpost on the Diversion Canal. He helped pass a check-off donation on state income tax forms to help Hunters for the Hungry, a program allowing hunters to donate meat to food banks and homeless shelters. Additionally, he worked to ensure that flood insurance remains affordable by joining with fellow legislators to urge Congress to make changes to the Flood Insurance Reform Act.

He is most proud of his work to secure funding for the River Reintroduction into the Maurepas Swamp project to restore and enhance the health and sustainability of the Maurepas Swamp for reintroduction of season Mississippi River inflow. The diversion will provide sediment and fresh water to existing wetlands in the Maurepas Swamp, aiding in the prevention of further wetland loss.

Perhaps his most important piece of legislation to date has been one enacted to allow for and govern industrial hemp production in Louisiana. The legislation outlined the process for the growing and processing of hemp. It authorized industrial hemp farming and provided for licensure, inspection and recordkeeping. In addition, it prohibited the sale of alcohol or food containing CBD unless the FDA has approved the substance for such use. Hemp is used in making paper, textiles, plastics, fuel, and food among other things and could become a potential income producing crop for Louisiana farmers.

The Southwest Louisiana Chambers of Commerce named Schexnayder a Legis-Gator Business Champion in 2012, 2014 and 2015. In 2012 and 2014, the Louisiana Family Forum recognized him as a Family Advocate and the Louisiana Federation of Children named him an Education Choice Champion in 2014 and 2015.

Speaker Schexnayder has served as vice chair of the Congressional Sportsman Foundation and has been involved in numerous local community activities. He is a member of the Ascension Sportsmen Against Poachers, the National Rifle Association and the Coastal Conservation Association.

Speaker Schexnayder graduated from French Settlement High School and the Allen Institute of Atlanta where he was certified in Automotive Service Excellence. He began his career as a race car driver and spent nearly a decade of work with Firestone. He has driven and worked with IMCA/UMP modified race cars in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. Since 1998, he has owned and operated Car Craft Automotive in Sorrento.

In his spare time, he stays involved in local community projects and enjoys working with cars and horses. He is married to Phoebe Keller and has four children, one son-in-law, four grandsons and two granddaughters. His family proudly belongs to both St. Joseph Catholic Church in French Settlement and Pine Grove Baptist Church in Bayou Barbary.