A sad day in Louisiana as we learn of the passing of former Governor Mike Foster. He was 90 years old.

Foster pushed major changes in education during his time as governor. He also focused on policies to change lawsuit abuse.

The former Governor's Press Secretary Marsanne Golsby says Foster died Sunday at his home in Franklin, surrounded by relatives. Foster served as a state senator from the Franklin area during the early 90's. He switched from the Democratic to the Republican Party in 1995 and launched what many considered a longshot bid to succeed four-term Gov. Edwin Edwards.

"A veteran, a businessman and a sportsman, Gov. Mike Foster was a true Louisianan who served his country, his state and his community with honor throughout his life. As governor, one of his most lasting legacies is in education, especially his support for the creation of the TOPS program, which, more than 20 years later, still helps thousands of Louisiana students attend colleges and universities and achieve their goals. Gov. Foster recognized that there is no greater gift to our state than a bright future for its young people and that not everyone has to travel the same path to achieve a quality education.  That’s why he created the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.

"Gov. Foster also worked hard to protect and restore Louisiana’s coastline and moved to dedicate federal funding to this purpose, so that future Louisianans could enjoy the Sportsman’s Paradise he so loved. Donna and I are praying for Gov. Foster’s family, and especially his wife Alice, during this difficult time and hope the people of our state will join their prayers to ours. I have ordered that flags in the state be flown at half-staff in honor of his memory."

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy gave his thoughts on the former governor's passing:

“The death of former Gov. Mike Foster could be seen as one more tragedy of 2020. But his life and service are to be celebrated. He invested heavily in higher education, greatly expanded the community college system, and worked to make Louisiana an opportunity state. He will be missed, but his achievements endure,”

Senator John Kennedy released the following statement:

Mike Foster worked hard to create jobs and improve education across Louisiana. I had the privilege of serving in his administration and seeing firsthand why so many Louisianians admire him. Becky and I are incredibly sad about his passing, but we are so happy to have known him. We are praying for Alice and the entire Foster family.