Legislation that would revamp the Lafayette Metropolitan Expressway Commission is only one step away from final passage and becoming official state law. It is currently pending action on the Senate floor and could be debated as soon as Tuesday afternoon.

House Bill 684 by Rep. Jack Montoucet, D-Crowley, would rename the existing commission to the Regional Expressway Commission and make it a Lafayette-Iberia partnership. Local officials hope the change will serve as a catalyst to moving along the I-49 South project, investigating funding sources like tolls and bringing in more stakeholders.

Pending passage on the House floor, meanwhile, is Senate Bill 800, which would reorganize and change the membership structure of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana. Authored by Sen. Eric LaFleur, D-Ville Platte, the bill allows the council and its executive director to remain in Lafayette.

However, the council's membership would be decreased from 50 to 23 in an effort to save money and streamline operations. The proposed legislation also provides for a goal of establishing at least one French immersion school no later than Sept. 1, 2015, in each of the 22 parishes of the Acadiana legislative region. Five of these parishes already have at least one such school taking students.

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