With the Louisiana statewide election only a few days away, and with many voters already making their way to the polls, it would seem to be a good time for me to gaze into my crystal ball and make a prediction of just who will be successful after all the vote are tallied. As many of you regular reader well know, I generally am right on the money. (yeah, right!)
There’s more than one way to skin a cat, as Louisiana’s legislative Republicans showed on a controversial matter. But one of their own might employ the same to thwart them.
Yesterday, the House Insurance Committee had a light schedule of just two bills. One, SB 173 by Republican state Sen. Fred Mills, has generated much conflict. It regulates the state’s response in case the U.S Supreme Court declares unconstitutional part or all of the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards actually opposed it, setting off skirmishes that continued in yesterday’s hearing where an administration representative softened that stance with the bill’s passage.
Another spring, another special session.
Is it the sixth since Governor John Bel Edwards took over from Bobby Jindal? Like Sally Bowes sang in Cabaret, "maybe this time"?
As the Louisiana regular session comes to an abrupt close this week, the special session focused upon a gaping $650 million hole, begins Tuesday. After two successive shoo shoos fiscal sessions meant to make up the difference in what the state spent this year and what it has money to spend next year, it is hard to be very confident that a solution will come at hand.
Once again, special interests win at the expense of Louisiana taxpayers and its most vulnerable citizens. These greedy hogs yesterday defeated in committee SB 357 by Republican state Sen. Conrad Appel, which today caused Republican state Rep. Tony Bacala to set aside his HB 334. Both bills would put the state on course to creating a long-term managed care system for persons with disabilities. This change in philosophy discomfits nursing home interests, who benefit greatly from current state practice that biases placement of individuals in nursing homes instead of in their own homes or the community. While waiting lists for access to this care, called waiver programs, has steadily risen to 28,000 people, Louisiana nursing homes enjoy a gravy train at their expense.
Friday, Gov. John Bel Edwards released details on the legislation included in his 2018 regular legislative session agenda to champion women and working mothers in Louisiana.
“The women and working moms of Louisiana are everyday heroes who touch the lives of every community throughout our state,” said Gov. Edwards. “Louisiana simply would not be the special place we call home without them, and I see it as part of my responsibilities as governor to champion policy changes that will help improve the lives of women in our state.”
So, let the olympic-sized Louisiana legislative fiscal debate match begin!
On Monday, the Louisiana legislature convenes at the state Capitol for another special fiscal session to make an attempt to fix, what we might call, the always-existing revenue hole fiscal cliff.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and various state officials are traveling to Washington DC to participate in a criminal justice reform event. It will be streamed online.
Here is the statement from Governor Edwards's office: