by Tom Aswell
Republican members of the Louisiana Legislature are pretty smug about their ability to block any proposed legislation or budget put forward by Gov. John Bel Edwards.
Witness the antics of Rep. Cameron Henry (R-Metairie) as he danced to puppeteer/House Speaker Taylor Barras (R-New Iberia) in rejecting the findings of the Revenue Estimating Conference, effectively killing any chance Edwards had of implementing badly needed pay raises for Louisiana’s public school teachers.
But do Henry and Barras, members in good standing of the “Caucus of No,” give a damn about teachers or, for that matter, the state as a whole?
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?
The Louisiana legislative process crashed with no fix for the massive fiscal cliff. What happened and where do we go from here?
This was the gist of the questions I had for Tyler Bridges, reporter for The Advocate, who covers the Louisiana legislature and politics for the newspaper. Now that the legislative fiscal session 2018, called by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, is history and all that’s left for now, is the blame game. It is obvious that DC politics has hit Louisiana. Republicans and Democrats don’t trust one another. Not that this comes as a surprise. But what might be the impact to the state and vital institutions, now that the impasse has been recorded?