Qualification for this fall’s gubernatorial election is less than five months away. So far, there are only two races at the statewide level that are competitive. The governor’s race always draws a crowd, with Governor Edwards being challenged so far by two major and well-funded opponents. The other major contest pits the incumbent insurance commissioner in the run for his political life against well-funded newcomer Tim Temple. Incumbents in the other statewide offices have no opposition so far.
Although a decision on the matter will apply to many fewer defendants across Louisiana now, a needed challenge to a badly flawed decision on jury sentencing points out in passing an unintended consequence of recent change to this policy.
Last year, voters amended the Constitution to sweet away the state’s requirement – shared now only by Oregon – that juries decide cases with only 10 of 12 votes (except, according to the criminal code, cases that could carry a capital sentence). However, the change to unanimity didn’t affect cases already in the pipeline.
We have heard so much and so often in Louisiana that the legislators on the left cannot get along with those on the right. We read daily that Democrats and Republicans simply are acting as if they were in Washington DC rather than in Baton Rouge, that acrimony is the rule and cooperation, the exception.
by Stephen Waguespack, President and CEO of Louisiana Association of Business and Industry
As a dad, one of my duties at home is to be a “fix-it” guy. While I may not be the handiest person out there, I can usually put some “MacGyver-esque” skills to the test and find a solution to a wide range of challenges around the house. I’ve replaced a doorbell, repaired a few windows, laid down some tile, fixed a garage door opener, hung a few ceiling fans and kept an old AC unit running for a few years longer than it ever should have lasted. I can open a wine bottle with a shoe (seriously) and once repaired some reading glasses with a chopstick. You shouldn’t hire me to build your dream home, but I can usually cobble together a workable solution or two for a project around the house when needed.
One million dollars down the drain to pay for a special session of the Louisiana legislature. And all for naught. The Governor is hollering that the financial sky is falling and the state is in dire fiscal straights. Legislators protest that their hands are tied by too many constitutional dedications. And since there is little appetite for trimming the budget, the legislature now begins its regular gathering at the state capitol with a shortfall of over one billion dollars.