Louisiana is going into its fourth year of John Bel Edwards at its helm. The first three years have been quite rocky, in large part due to his predecessor, Governor Bobby Jindal, leaving a major budget deficit that needed filling. As a result, numerous special sessions, a few totally unsuccessful, ultimately balanced the budget. Today, Edwards, a Democrat, says the days of raising taxes are over, that the budget has been stabilized.
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?
This past Tuesday’s election stirred mediocre interest here in the Bayou State. This was the fifth election in Louisiana in 2018. And get ready for six election dates in 2019. There was a 45% turnout last week, even though voters witnessed a great deal of election hype from throughout the nation. Louisianans just were not all that enthused.
It’s been ten years since the financial crisis on Wall Street filtered down through the insurance industry. Many national insurance companies were under siege, and even though Louisiana is a small state in population, policyholders were affected proportionally at a much greater degree than in most other parts of the country.
Question: What do you get when a Fried Chicken, two New Orleans City Councilpersons, a Louisiana State legislator, a Jefferson Parish Coroner, a New Orleans music and TV personality and a New Orleans TV sports commentator cross the road?
Answer: You'll have to check it out Thursday night at Politics with a Punch.
After all, with mid-term elections in the air, and footballs flying around the dome, and chicken frying becoming a New Orleans fall festival, and with local politics always percolating and crime in the street always in the news, what’s more is there to do?
Good news for the State of Louisiana and politically, for Governor John Bel Edwards and others in the legislature.
One of the remnants from the Jindal administration is now history.
On Tuesday, August 21, the Louisiana High Auto Rates Task Force held its first meeting at the Department of Insurance. The newly appointed task force was formed to look into high auto insurance rates in the State of Louisiana and make recommendations to the legislature for actions to lower rates. The 2018 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature passed a House Concurrent Resolution (HCR 47) and Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR 55) urging and requesting the Louisiana Department of Insurance to assemble a task force to address the high cost of auto insurance during the 2018 Regular Session.
On Tuesday, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) released the 20th edition of its Legislative Scorecard highlighting the leaders who voted for a solid foundation of policies that promote economic growth and job creation across the Pelican State.
For the greater New Orleans region, Sen. Conrad Appel (R-Metairie) and Reps. Patrick Connick (R-Marrero), Raymond Garofalo (R-Chalmette), Kirk Talbot (R-River Ridge), and Polly Thomas (R-Metairie) were named “Most Valuable Policymaker” (MVP) for earning a perfect score on major legislation that affected the state’s economy. Reps. Stephanie Hilferty (R-Metairie), Cameron Henry (R-Metairie) and Julie Stokes (R-Kenner) were named “LABI All-Stars” for scoring 90 percent or higher on legislation selected for analysis. Rep. Joseph Marino (I-Gretna) was given a “LABI Honorable Mention” for scoring 80 percent or higher on bills selected for the Scorecard analysis.
For years, legislators in Louisiana have maintained a well-deserved reputation of irrelevance when it comes to substantively addressing a host of public issues. The mantra seems to be one of keeping a finger in the financial dike to get through the next fiscal year, and side stepping a host of idiosyncratic concerns that include bestiality, hair braiding and sports betting. But if you think Louisiana has an oddball legislature that leans toward quirky solutions to non- existent problems, check out California that has moved a notch ahead of us here in the Deep South.
by Stephen Waguespack, President and CEO of Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI)
In 1994, after two years under the Clinton administration and decades more toiling as the minority party in Congress, Republicans decided they needed a plan to better communicate with the American people and detail the specific actions they promised to take if they assumed leadership in Congress in the upcoming elections. They suspected their ideas would resonate with a country growing more conservative by the day, but they knew the President’s bully pulpit and rapport with the mainstream media made it difficult to get those ideas heard by voters around the country. They knew they needed a workaround. Thus, the Contract with America was born.