Friday, 15 January 2016 18:11

Plans foiled, will Jon Bel Edwards be able to work with Republican House of Reps?

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foil engsterWill the new Louisiana Governor, Democrat Jon Bel Edwards be able to work with the Republican-led House of Representatives?  On Monday, a political coup took place since Republicans wanted to maintain control over the House of Representatives and the party knew it could not win with its candidate, Cameron Henry, against the governor’s choice, Walt Leger?


 This republicans backed a compromise candidate, Taylor Barras, who essentially was recruited by House party leaders who beat Leger on the second ballot after Henry dropped out after coming in second in the first ballot.

So, now that the House Speaker battle is history, will the Republican-led House be able to work with the Democratic-led administration?

This was one of the issues discussed in an interview with Baton Rouge Republican member of the House, Franklin Foil on the Jim Engster Show, 107.3 FM.

Below is a short segment of their interview and a rough summary.  If you slide the video to the time stamp, you can listen to that segment;  Or, listen to the entire video to hear this portion of the interview.  

Alternatively, you can scroll down to the Google Plus post and click on the "read more" link, then click on any hyperlink segment. You will go directly to that particular segment.

00:00 Pleased with the results of the House vote because wanted to vote for member of the Republican delegation and wanted more independence in the House to determine who the Speaker was going to be

00:39Going into Sunday night, there were only two candidates with whom I was acquainted as being candidates, Walt Leger And Cameron Henry and the republicans had a meeting and looked like Henry did not have enough votes to win and so a third candidate was recruited,  And then Taylor Barras and Neil Abramson on Monday ran, and on the first vote Henry and Barras received 54 votes.  As we knew at that time that if Cameron Henry dropped out, Barras would win.

01:29 I know John Bell Edwards very well, we're both attorneys.  We both have three children.  He's a good man and I look forward to working with him in his position as governor.  I think he can work with the Republican Party.  He's very practical, he likes to get things done. He's very accomplished. He's committed to higher education which I think that most of us are. And he also recognizes the traffic infrastructure problems we have not only around the state but in Baton Rouge.  That's something that were all going to work together

02:46 I think the budget is as bad as people are saying.  In 2008 we had surplus and money from Katrina so he had a different situation.  But unfortunately we're now looking at about $2 billion shorfall for this and next year's budget.  And part of the problem is that we did not get good information this last session.  And so that's why we have part of the shortfall. Of course the drop in oil prices, That's part of it. But the big hit With DHH and how much Medicaid is going to cost about $500 million. 

03:48 Several names were floated around and Taylor Barras really knows the tax credits and tax issues because he served on the Ways and Means committee for eight years.  And he's made several presentations to the freshman's recently about these issues and I think that really impressed them.  And he soft-spoken and even-tempered.  And fits the bill for a good speaker.

04:29 Barras was a Democrat when he was first elected. He votes "fairly conservative" and votes with the business interests on a lot of business issues.  And he did change in 2011, when a lot of Democrats in the house did and actually put the house in the majority for Republicans.

05:05I was open to it accepting the Medicaid expansion last year, I voted for bill that would give the governor flexibility. My concern is by accepting this the way the governor did it does not cause financial problems for the state. My goal and hope is that it will actually help the state And look forward to seeing how this plays out.

Last modified on Friday, 15 January 2016 18:54

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