"Our Louisiana" or Political Theater?
It depends on your politics and your choice of theaters, perhaps
Today, in Lafayette Louisiana Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards and Republican Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser started the sixth special session in two and a half years to deal with the Louisiana budget woes, left from the prior governor, Republican Bobby Jindal.
Why is Governor John Bel Edwards having so many problems with the Louisiana legislature? Is he simply a weak administrator who--for one reason or not--cannot get the Republican dominated legislative bodies to support his agenda? Or is he a strong governor who simply faces a recalcitrant republican-controlled legislature and GOP-based business community, who are using their political clout to limit his power for political purposes? Or, are there some other reasons?
Is Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards being fair or is he "over the top", scaring seniors with potential "kick-you-out-of-nursing-homes" letters as a result of the budget standoff with the Republican House of Representatives? And why scare seniors, Governor Edwards, have you sent out contract-reduction letters to the Saints and the Pelicans?
The 2018 vintage of the Louisiana legislature has been in session now since February 19 2018. Initially, it met in an extraordinary fiscal session called by Governor John Bel Edwards to grapple with the then-one billion dollar budget shortfall. That two week endeavor ended in failure. Essentially nothing was passed.
Legislators being in session for essentially the first half of each year for the past series of springs has become a regular occurence, primarily due to major budgetary issues. The individual lawmakers are tired. Nerves are frayed. The everyday grind focuses upon minutia. They are underpaid. And perhaps worse of all, nothing seems to be getting done. Bills are getting killed.
Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Twistlock CEO Ben Bernstein announced that the company will establish a Global Solutions Engineering Center in Baton Rouge. Twistlock is a cybersecurity firm, Twistlock will create 20 new direct jobs with an average salary of $90,000, plus benefits. Additionally, Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 23 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 40 new jobs in Louisiana’s Capital Region.
Democrats and those wanting to halt the prospects of drastic cuts are on a full court press. Today, email boxes are flooded by organizations to say no to the Republican Louisiana House of Representative budget for next year. Below are a selection of some of the emails:
In response to the Republican-controlled House Appropriations committee's decision to fully fund TOPS and not providing funding to other areas of state government, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards released the following statement on the House Appropriations Committee’s decision "to make drastic cuts to higher education, health care, including partner hospitals and medical schools, and public safety"