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Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Remembers Francis E.

New Orleans – March 28, 2014 – The Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Commission and LTFS staff today mourned the loss of former state senator Francis E. “Hank” Lauricella. Mr. Lauricella was instrumental in the founding of the tax free shopping program and a long time champion of international trade in Louisiana. Mr. Lauricella served in the legislature for 32 years, first during two terms in the House and then as a state senator from 1972 until he retired in 1996. His leadership in the senate, along with Ben Bagert, and Ken Hollis, and Jim Donelon, Woody Jenkins and Charles Lancaster in the house of representatives was crucial in helping pass Act 535 that created LTFS. Governor Buddy Roemer signed the bill into law in 1988 and the first refund center opened in 1989. Mr. Lauricella was subsequently appointed by Governor Roemer to the commission that oversees the tax free shopping program, where he served from 1988 until 2003. “As we mark the 25th anniversary of tax free shopping, we are saddened that Louisiana has lost a great leader and a true friend to international trade and development,” said LTFS Commission Chairman Steven Windham. “His vision for what could be in our region, and indeed the entire state, was crucial both during his time in the legislature and after. It's fair to say that the tax free shopping program for international visitors might not have existed without him.” At the time of the passing of the legislation that created LTFS, no other state in the union had such a program, and as of today only one other provides a similar benefit to international visitors. In addition to his leadership in creating such a unique program, Mr. Lauricella was also a champion for other projects that have been critical to the region's economic development. He was a strong supporter of the Louisiana Superdome, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Louis Armstrong International Airport, and the Port of New Orleans. Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. A wake will be held Tuesday, April 1 from 5-9 p.m. and visitation will be held Wednesday, April 2 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Mass to follow at St. Rita Church in Harahan, La.