LAFAYETTE – Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards joined former Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Rep. Sam Jones and local officials for the unveiling of the Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Highway.
SB 134 by Sen. Wesley Bishop designates U.S. Hwy 90 from its intersection with I-10 in Lafayette to its intersection with La. Hwy 308 in Raceland as the “Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Highway”. Four signs have been commissioned to mark the highway.
“Donna and I have been blessed to get to know Gov. Blanco, Coach and her large, loving family over the past few years. She is a woman of incredible faith who has a deep love and appreciation for the state of Louisiana,” Gov. Edwards said. “Gov. Blanco is a trailblazer who has fought fiercely for our state and people in the face of overwhelming adversity and disaster. She is a champion of the people and her strength, resiliency, and love are examples for us all to live by. The people of Louisiana are better off because of Gov. Blanco and her years of service in public and private life. There is nothing more fitting or well-deserved than a permanent honor to Gov. Blanco in her beloved Acadiana.”
Gov. Blanco served as the 54th Governor of Louisiana from 2004 to 2008 and is recognized as the state’s first and only female governor. She led Louisiana through the trying times following hurricanes Katrina and Rita during her tenure, which was a capstone in decades of public service.
She is a graduate of Mount Carmel Academy and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, earning her Bachelor of Science in Business Education in 1964.
“We are proud to be here to officially dedicate the Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Highway in remembrance of her lifetime of public service to the state of Louisiana,” said Secretary Wilson. “Governor Blanco has made a lasting impact on me personally and professionally as well as this state and will continue to be honored by the thousands of motorists who travel this roadway.”
Prior to being elected as governor, Gov. Blanco served in public office for over 20 years. She was elected the first woman legislator from Lafayette in 1983 and spent five years in the Louisiana House of Representatives.
She was elected to the Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC) in 1988 and held that position for seven years before becoming the first woman chairman of the PSC.
Gov. Blanco then served as the 50th Louisiana Lieutenant Governor from 1996 until she won the governorship in 2003. Her legislative initiatives focused mainly on providing affordable healthcare, improving the education system, and forging a strong and diverse economy. She was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in 2006.