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Glenn Koepp, who kept “the train on track” for 16 years in the Louisiana Senate, is dead | Legislature


Glenn Koepp provided the soundtrack for the Louisiana Senate.

He was also its conductor and parliamentarian for the 16 years ending in 2020 where he served as Secretary of the Senate.

He played a vital role inside the State Capitol, even though he was unknown to the public.

Koepp died of a massive heart attack on Monday while visiting a son in Colorado. He was 76 years old.

Koepp’s rich baritone voice, tinged with rural Washington parish, was familiar to anyone who spent time in the Marble Senate Chamber, and it will remain so to historians and others viewing the videos from 2004-19 Senate archived broadcast.

Koepp sat in the middle of the platform facing the senators, with a head full of white hair and a smile still on his face. His body shook when he laughed, and it often did.

It was Koepp’s role to introduce each bill, which he did by leaning into the microphone in front of him.

“A message from the House,” Koepp might intone. Or: “Concurrent Senate Second Reading Resolution, Number 79, by Senator Long”.

His voice provided the details of what the Senate was about to do. If the Senate was in a hurry, it would adopt the voice of its auctioneer and read the bills in a flash.

But that was only one of his roles.

Koepp also handled the flow of paper from committees to the entire Senate and to the House and back, at times.

“He was the guy we were counting on to keep the train on track and move legislation through the process legally and procedurally,” said John Alario, who worked closely with Koepp during his two terms in office. as President of the Senate.

Alario and his two predecessors, Donald “Doc” Hines and Joel Chaisson, also depended on Koepp to sort out rules issues.

Koepp has taken on an additional role every 10 years helping guide the Senate through the reallocation process as an in-house expert.

Although he retired as secretary, Koepp was most recently working for the Senate as a contract employee to help with the upcoming legislative redistribution session, where lawmakers will need to draw the new boundaries.

“He had put the pieces together,” said Chaisson, who underwent a redistribution with Koepp 10 years ago. “He knew it inside out. “

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During his 47 years on Capitol Hill, Koepp befriended the lawmakers he served.

“Every time I got sick, he called me,” recalls former Senator Robert Adley. “He would be in Baton Rouge. I would be in Bossier (Parish). He said, “I’m on my way. “

Koepp, who grew up on a farm outside of Bogalusa, made his debut with the state when he and his LSU Law School roommate hitchhiked to the Capitol to look for a job. summer in 1972.

“I had shoulder-length hair and a full beard,” Koepp recalls as he addressed the Senate Chamber in a farewell speech on May 30, 2019.

He was hired as an Assistant House Sergeant-at-Arms at $ 30 a day for 60 days.

“It’s more money than I thought,” he told senators and others.

Koepp held various positions at the State Capitol over the following years. In one stint, he was counsel for the House Retirement Committee and its chairman, Shady Wall, who liked to store a pistol in his boot holster.

The Senate resolution that honored Koepp in 2019 called Wall an “influential force of nature, who fired Glenn every other day; However, Glenn treated it with care, learned to write amendments “on the fly” and completed a research project on pension systems. “

Koepp was elected by the Senate to be its secretary in 2004 and has worked with seven governors in all.

“Glenn Koepp’s genuine kindness, inquisitive nature and adventurous spirit were as unmatched as his expertise and knowledge of the Louisiana Legislature,” Governor John Bel Edwards said in a statement.

Koepp is survived by his wife Anna and his two sons, Cooper and Daniel.

As Koepp walked to the Senate podium to deliver his farewell speech in 2019, a Senate clerk handed him two handkerchiefs.

“Keep some for me,” Alario said from the platform.

Koepp started off by saying, “I’m grateful for the best job in the world, this job.

Over the next 30 minutes, as he told his story, he dabbed his eyes several times. Senators lined up to kiss her afterwards. Over the next few minutes, a live microphone picked up Koepp’s distinctive laugh, repeatedly saying “thank you” and the sound of Senators hitting him warmly on the back.

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