Governor John Bel Edwards

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Governor John Bel Edwards is working to find ways to equip every school with a school resource officer. He says the vast majority of schools already have them but not all. Edwards made the comments during his monthly radio show, “ask the governor.”

 

The governor adds each officer should have uniformed training.

 

He says he’s saddened by the situation today’s schools are in.

 

A task force has been assembled to study the issue.

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Governor John Bel Edwards says the proposed budget that was approved by the House is a non-starter, and if it reaches his desk, he’s not signing it. The budget maintains higher ed, and funds TOPS at 80 percent, but includes steep cuts to healthcare that could shutter public-private hospitals that care for the poor. Edwards says it’s a budget unworthy of the people of Louisiana

 

Edwards says, "The types of cuts that I just described to you do not happen in the state of Louisiana.The state is better than this. They deserve better than this."

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The House narrowly passed a budget that would fund TOPS at 80% and maintain higher ed funding, but would implement deep cuts in healthcare funding, potentially ending public-private partnership hospitals that care for the poor. House Appropriations Chairman Republican Cameron Henry says the state cannot afford to maintain its current healthcare spending.

 

Henry says, "The growth at which Medicaid is expanding is a rate we cannot attain. This is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue; this is a math issue."

 

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Louisiana's Medicaid expansion program has helped create or support nearly 19,200 jobs across the state and $178 million in state and local taxes.

That's according to an economic analysis done by three LSU professors hired by the state health department to look at the program during the 2016-17 budget year.

The study determined that the infusion of $1.8 billion in federal spending on health care through the Medicaid expansion had a $3.5 billion economic impact in Louisiana.

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The House Appropriations Committee is expected to approve a budget today for next fiscal year that will contain 648-million dollars in cuts from the current fiscal year. When the budget process started, lawmakers had a nearly billion dollar budget deficit, but an increase in tax collections has led to a much smaller fiscal cliff. Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry says his committee wants to use that newly recognized revenue for TOPS.

 

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An LSU Public Policy Research Lab survey finds a majority of Louisiana residents support two of Governor John Bel Edwards’ major policy issues – criminal justice reform and Medicaid expansion. Of those surveyed, 61-percent say they support the sweeping changes made last year. LSU’s Dr. Mike Henderson says there seems to be support on changing the state’s sentencing laws, because over half of the respondents believe the system is not fair, especially African-Americans.

 

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Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson has passed away at the age of 90. Benson bought the Saints in 1985 after building a car dealership and real estate empire that started in San Antonio, and expanded to his hometown of New Orleans. When the team went up for sale in 1984, then governor Edwin Edwards says he had one priority: finding a buyer who would keep the team in town, and he found that man in Benson.

 

Edwards says that Benson kept his promise in keeping the team in New Orleans. Edwards says that the Saints have been "a great asset to the city and the state."

 

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Residents of the small town of St. Joseph in Tensas parish are soaked with joy over a new water system that goes on-line today. Governor John Bel Edwards is in St. Joseph to cut the ribbon on the new facility that has been in need for decades. Shauna Sanford is the Governor’s communications director.

 

Sanford says the new plant is welcomed by residents who have been dealing with dis-colored water for years.

 

The town had been under a perpetual public health emergency declaration because of their old system. Those days are now gone says Sanford.

 

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The regular session kicks off today, and Governor John Bel Edwards is hoping the legislature gets more accomplished than the special session that ended without a clear solution to the fiscal cliff. The special session was notable for its stark partisan divides, which Edwards says were the worst he’s seen in a decade.

 

Edwards says, "The level of acrimony and distrust is beyond anything that I've seen in the ten years that I've been involved in state government."

 

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Now that the special session concluded without a solution to fill a one-billion-dollar budget shortfall in July, TOPS funding could be cut by 80-percent. There are nearly 48-thousand TOPS students. Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo says many parents can’t afford to send their kids to college without some financial help. Those college prospects are looking elsewhere to get their education.

 

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