Louisiana tax drafting board chairman checks alcohol detox

Lafayette Republican Representative Stuart Bishop, chairman of the powerful Louisiana House tax drafting committee, has checked himself into a drug rehabilitation center to be treated for alcoholism.

Bishop issued the following public statement:

“For the past 12 years, I have worked very hard to serve the people of my district and our great state of Louisiana,” he said. “I recognize that I have challenges to overcome for the sake of myself, my family and the state of Louisiana.

“I have made the choice to seek help and will be away for the next 30 days in a program to focus on my alcohol addiction. My goal is to make my family, my health and my my well-being a top priority. back, i can be the best husband, father and community servant that i can be. i appreciate your support and encouragement and ask for your prayers and understanding. i look forward to returning to work soon and to fulfill my duties and continue to serve the people of Louisiana.”

Bishop, in his third and final term in the House, is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

He told USA Today earlier this month that he would not seek another elected office immediately following his final term in the House. “I plan to take a break, but I’m not ruling anything out in the future.”

Bishop said his wife Kim will be running for a state senate seat.

Republican House Speaker Clay Schexnayder de Gonzales praised Bishop for his decision to seek treatment.

“It takes a lot of courage to admit you need help in public and even more courage to do something about it,” Schexnayder said in an interview with USA Today Network. “I’m proud of Stuart. He’s my colleague and my friend.

“I think he can serve as an inspiration to other people with this disease.”

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Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Louisiana Network. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.

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