Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, in his sixth special session he will have called since he took office in 2016, apparantly has decided to break from the past, to mix things up a little bit and possibly surround himself among more friendly quarters when he opens the two-week budgetary battle-- with a speech.
Unlike the traditonal gubernatorial address held on the House of Representative floor, Edwards will take to the University of Lafayette campus. Along with him will be Republican Billy Nungesser, the Lt. Governor and other "stakeholders".
Edwards has recently vetoed a budget that the Louisiana House and Senate cobbled together during the regular session cutting roughly $650 million dollars. Since the regular session prevented raising of any taxes, the legislature had no other choice but either pass no budget or pass one with substantial cuts. It chose the latter.
The budget, unlike the one the House had previously passed earlier this year, was easy on cuts for healthcare but hit governmental services severely including the Office of the Lt. Governor and Recreation and Tourism.
Below is press statement from Governor Edwards's office concerning his very unusual address:
On Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in lieu of addressing a joint session of the legislature to begin the 2018 Second Special Legislative Session, Gov. John Bel Edwards will deliver his message, "Our Louisiana," to the people of Louisiana from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus, one of the many higher education institutions around the state threatened by the unresolved fiscal cliff.
The governor will be joined by Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and stakeholders, both Republican and Democrat, from across Louisiana all united in the same goal, to fix the fiscal cliff that jeopardizes critical state functions and services that the people of Louisiana rely upon. In attendance will be state legislators, local elected officials, health care leaders, higher education and law enforcement advocates, and people from around Louisiana whose lives will be directly impacted by the outcome of the upcoming special session.