by Tom Aswell, Publisher of LouisianaVoice.com
(First published on the Louisiana Voice)
Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Legislature could probably learn a thing or two about building budgetary surpluses from the St. Landry Parish Fire Protection District No. 2—except at least one St. Landry Parish citizens thinks the surplus may be the result of smoke and mirrors and a little voodoo tax millage assessment.
Today is infrastructure day, again. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, whose flight was canceled yesterday, managed to make it up to the White House to participate in the discussion with President Donald Trump who revealed his plan.
Ready or not, the Louisiana spring special session is coming to a Capitol near you.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards will call another special session for the Louisiana legislature, something he said he was not going to do unless there was an agreement between the Republican and Democratic parties.
By Stephen Winham, guest columnist
Publisher on LouisianaVoice.com
Caveat: I worked closely with Buddy Roemer as state budget director. I have only the barest of acquaintances with John Bel Edwards. For this reason, I must question how fair my comparison of the two can be. I admit I am disappointed in John Bel Edwards’ performance as governor to date and have admired Roemer’s efforts even more with the passage of time.
Today, the Office of Gov. John Bel Edwards issued the following statement on the lawsuit filed by Attorney General Jeff Landry against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer involving the Intercoastal Waterway servitude:
“The Attorney General did not consult with the Governor or the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on his lawsuit. It’s unfortunate that the agency charged with developing strategies for dealing with coastal wetlands was not consulted at all. While coastal restoration is a top priority of Gov. Edwards, as evidenced by the significant work we have done over the last two years to expedite projects, we will review the lawsuit once the language is provided to us and determine the best path forward for the state.”
Tomorrow, Governor John Bel Edwards is expected to call for a Louisiana legislative special session which would begin roughly seven days later, if things go as being reported. Edwards had urged the Republicans to come up with a plan to fix the roughly one billion dollar hole for the year starting July 1, 2018, or no session would be called.
They haven’t. Nonetheless, Edwards is left with little other choice. If they were to wait until after the regular session is complete, in the beginning of June, there would not be sufficient time for parents to plan for tuition, for schools to plan schedules and for hospitals to plan their respective budget which starts weeks later.
Confusion is as confusion does, which sums up perfectly an incomprehensible ruling on an important question in Louisiana governance.
Yesterday, state District Judge Don Johnson issued a ruling declaring a case of a fund sweep unconstitutional. In this instance, the Legislature lifted from Public Service Commission revenues collected by fees on regulated carriers, appropriating some of that amount to pay for other operations of government.
Oped by Stephen Waguespack, President and CEO of Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, LABI
Today, coalition members from local chambers of commerce, civic organizations and business associations across the state came together to announce a campaign to open the books on government spending in Louisiana.
The Louisiana capitol is ready to start its Louisiana Legislature tax chicken dance. On one side of the floor are Governor, John Bel Edwards and democrats. On another side are fiscal conservatives. And, in the middle are a group of lawmakers who believe the state is reaching a moment of urgency.
The question is—who’s going to take the first step and blink as the music is quickly getting ready to start?
Winter is still here. The Louisiana days are getting a little longer. The threat of another special session to plug a massive hole in the budget is getting closer.
The mantra of fiscal cliff still fills the air as it has now winter after winter, year after year.
Former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has penned an oped published in the Wall Street Journal yesterday that took a not-to-subtle swipe at Republican President Donald Trump, the Republican Party and of course, the Democrats and President Barack Obama. The column was somewhat reminiscent to Jindal's "stupid party" statement he made post-Mitt Romney presidential loss.
As of now, what is the shape of the Louisiana political waterfront?
This was the gist of a series of questions I asked political analyst and pollster Bernie Pinsonat during a Facebook and Twitter live video conference we held on Wednesday.