Governor John Bel Edwards

Antrell Williams / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has hired a new deputy chief of staff, three months after the previous jobholder resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.

The Democratic governor announced Tuesday that Adren Wilson will work as deputy chief of staff for programs and planning, filling the position Johnny Anderson left in November.

Anderson was accused of sexual harassment, 11 years after several women made similar accusations when Anderson worked for Gov. Kathleen Blanco and was a university system board chairman. Anderson denies wrongdoing in both sets of claims.

frankieleon / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Attorney General Jeff Landry and Governor John Bel Edwards have agreed to coordinate efforts to bring litigation against opioid manufacturers, who they feel are responsible for the epidemic that’s claiming hundreds lives every year. The A-G’s Chief Deputy Bill Stiles says the state seeks damages for costs incurred within the Medicaid program.

 

Stiles hopes to expand the scope of the lawsuit into all state services effected, including corrections and family services.

 

Road Travel America / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Governor Edwards and state lawmakers are in Baton Rouge for the special session to find a solution to the looming fiscal cliff that threatens to gut popular programs like TOPS. The governor is seeking tax reform, and Republicans want spending reductions. Erath Representative Blake Miguez says the GOP caucus is demanding the creation of the Louisiana Checkbook.

 

He says the program would increase transparency, and would closely resembles Ohio’s Ohiocheckbook.com

 

Antrell Williams / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

The special session kicks off today to address a one billion dollar shortfall. Legislators have until March 7th to find a fix to the looming fiscal cliff or else cuts will occur in the areas of higher education and health care. Council for a Better Louisiana President Barry Erwin says the governor has talked privately with house speaker Taylor Barras on solutions.

 

Early reports say legislators are making progress on a fix the to one billion dollar budget gap. Erwin says even though a deal isn’t currently on hand, he expects some agreement to be made.

 

Road Travel America / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

House Republicans are looking at renewing at least some or all of the temporary one cent sales tax as a way to address a looming one billion dollar shortfall. Houma Representative Tanner Mcgee.

 

But Governor John Bel Edwards says he will not support any plan that maintains the current sales tax rate which is currently five percent, one of the highest in the country. And Baton Rouge Representative Ted James says legislators promised to let the temporary sales tax penny expire when they voted for it in 2016.

 

Drax Moves Headquarters To Monroe

Feb 9, 2018
GotCredit / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Drax Biomass is relocating its headquarters from Atlanta to Monroe, in what Governor John Bel Edwards is hailing as another big win for Louisiana’s economy. Drax already operates two wood pellet manufacturing facilities and a shipping operation in the state. Monroe Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Sue Nicholson says that means 150 good paying jobs are on the way.

 

Nicholson says Monroe’s economy is booming, and having ULM, Grambling, and Louisiana Tech all within 45 minutes provides companies with a highly educated pool of workers to choose from.

 

Antrell Williams / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Today is the deadline for Governor John Bel Edwards to call a February special session to address the looming one billion dollar budget hole resulting in the expiration of sales taxes. The governor said he would not call the session without an agreement in principle on a fiscal cliff deal, but LAPoltics.com publisher Jeremy Alford says the governor is being pushed to call the session.

 

Because it’s a revenue issue, the fiscal cliff can only be addressed in a special session.

 

Rafael Gonzales / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

Governor John Bel Edwards has five million dollars in his reelection war chest at the midway point of his term.  The fundraising numbers from his annual campaign finance report, combined with his high favorability ratings, give the governor a strong starting position heading into the 2019 governor’s race. Political Analyst Clancy DuBos says it still might not be enough to get him a second term.

 

85 percent of those funds came from Louisiana, but DuBos says the governor will have to ramp up his national fundraising to keep up with his GOP rivals.

 

Road Travel America / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Republican House Speaker Taylor Barras provides Governor John Bel Edwards with budget cutting proposals as part of the negotiations to solve a nearly billion dollar shortfall. House Republican delegation chairman Lance Harris says in an effort to reduce health care spending, so they would like to see work requirements for certain people who receive Medicaid.

 

TOPS Task Force To Vote On Proposals

Jan 31, 2018
Antrell Williams / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

A TOPS task force will vote on a series of recommendations today they hope will bring long-term sustainability to the popular scholarship program. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish says under his proposal many TOPS students would not have their tuition fully paid for anymore.

 

Morrish proposes a 4,000 dollar stipend for TOPS Opportunity recipients, those are incoming freshman that have a C average high school grades. He says students that have a higher GPA and ACT score will receive higher financial awards.

 

Pages