Governor John Bel Edwards

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Today, Gov. John Bell Edwards is pleased to help announce the creation of a statewide scholarship agreement between the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) and the Louisiana Future Farmers of America Student Association (FFA). The agreement calls for a $500 one-time scholarship for every Louisiana FFA member who graduates from a Louisiana high school and a $1,000 one-time scholarship for each state champion to any LCTCS college, beginning with the high school graduating class of 2017-2018. 

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Now that Republican John Schroder has been elected as Louisiana’s new State Treasurer, he says he wants to improve the way the state handles finances in a struggling economy. Schroder hopes to work with the state legislature and Governor Edwards to balance the budget and spend responsibly.

Schroder says government has become a burden and the state’s infrastructure has become unaffordable. He plans to stay a budget hawk, as he’s been since he was elected as a state representative 10 years ago.

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Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration is trying a third time to persuade lawmakers to approve contract extensions for Louisiana's Medicaid managed-care companies, which coordinate health services for 1.5 million people. 

The joint legislative budget committee debates the deals again Friday. 

GOP lawmakers have questioned whether the health department is doing enough to monitor and squeeze savings out of deals estimated to cost $15.4 billion over 23 months. 

Ted Jackson / nola.com

Governor Edwards and Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain continue their listening tour with farmers today with stops in Ferriday and Slaughter. The tour started earlier this week as the two elected officials held meetings in Mooringsport and Bastrop to hear about concerns within the agriculture industry. Edwards says producers are worried that state budget cuts are impacting agriculture research at LSU and Southern.

 

Edwards says soybean farmers are also pushing for funding so the Red River can be dredged in northwest Louisiana to help with shipping costs.

Robert McClendon / nola.com/Times-Picayune

House Republicans have devised a list of proposed changes they want to see made to deals with the private companies that manage care for 1.5 million Louisiana Medicaid recipients.  

     The GOP lawmakers remain at odds with Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards over how to approach multibillion-dollar contracts that are state government's largest.  

     The governor is proposing 23-month, $15.4 billion extensions for the five managed-care companies. House Republicans on the joint legislative budget committee that must approve the extensions are pressing for adjustments.  

Governor Edwards and Louisiana Ag Commissioner Mike Strain will start a listening tour across several rural communities today.  The tour will allow members of the agricultural community an opportunity to ask questions and to discuss their concerns.  Strain says they want to know the challenges farmers face.

 

Strain says it’s important he and Governor Edwards get in front of the farmers throughout the Bayou State and address their concerns since they are a large part of our economy.