Baton Rouge

Friday, January 27, 2017

Edwards makes case to fix $304M mid-year budget shortfall

Posted By on Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 4:05 PM

Gov. John Bel Edwards and his fiscal staff discuss the state’s fiscal shortfall Friday with the joint legislative Committee on the Budget. - SAM KARLIN
  • SAM KARLIN
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards and his fiscal staff discuss the state’s fiscal shortfall Friday with the joint legislative Committee on the Budget.

Gov. John Bel Edwards made his case Jan. 27 for combining the state’s “rainy day fund” and spending cuts to fix a $304 million mid-year budget shortfall, warning lawmakers that funding reductions will be “deep” and “painful” no matter what.

Edwards will unveil a specific plan to address the funding gap Feb. 6, but today he said he wants to protect K-12 education, the Department of Corrections and Department of Children and Family Services from budget cuts.

He will call the Legislature to a special session from Feb. 13-23 specifically to address the deficit.

“It’s an understatement to say there just aren’t any painless options left for us,” Edwards said. “It’s storming ... The idea that under these circumstances we wouldn’t use the rainy day fund for its express purpose doesn’t make any sense to me.”

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

As Congress votes to begin repeal of Affordable Care Act, Edwards and Landrieu tout Medicaid expansion success in Louisiana

Posted By on Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 3:36 PM

Gov. John Bel Edwards, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Dr. Rebekah Gee, head of the Louisiana Department of Health, touted what they called health care success in Louisiana at a press conference today at the University Medical Center.
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Dr. Rebekah Gee, head of the Louisiana Department of Health, touted what they called health care success in Louisiana at a press conference today at the University Medical Center.

One day after President-elect Donald Trump held a press conference in which he repeatedly vowed to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a group of Louisiana leaders gathered at University Medical Center in New Orleans to commemorate the one-year anniversary since Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill allowing Medicaid expansion into the state. That expansion, which went into place last July, has resulted in more than 378,000 newly insured Louisianans, according to figures provided by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH).

"Behind all these numbers is a real live person," Edwards said.

Refusing the Medicaid expansion was a cornerstone of former Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration, while Edwards had made it a campaign plank. Edwards called signing Medicaid expansion "the easiest big decision I will ever make as governor."

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Editorial: Jeff Landry is Louisiana's Barney Fife

Posted By on Tue, Jan 10, 2017 at 2:32 PM

Not Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.
  • Not Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.
In a classic episode of The Andy Griffith Show, Sheriff Andy Taylor leaves town for the day, turning law enforcement over to his hapless, preening deputy Barney Fife. When Andy returns, he finds Barney has arrested half the town on charges such as “unlawful assembly” (Aunt Bee gossiping with friends outside the courthouse) and expects praise for cracking down on crime in Mayberry.

Turns out Louisiana has its own Barney Fife — Attorney General Jeff Landry.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Y@ Speak: game theory

Posted By on Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 5:34 PM


Things we will bury with 2016: numbered tweets, "THREAD" and "game theory." But first, here are some tweets about the dumb weather, our broke state, and the cause of heart disease that is the New Orleans Saints.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Judge sides with AG Landry in LGBT discrimination suit

Posted By on Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 12:45 PM

CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE

In a blow to LGBT rights in Louisiana, Baton Rouge's 19th Judicial District Court Judge Todd Hernandez ruled against the inclusion of anti-discrimination language in state contracts, which Gov. John Bel Edwards authorized in an executive order this year. State Attorney General Jeff Landry had refused to sign state contracts that included language protecting LGBT people from discrimination; the state Legislature repeatedly has turned down measures to update anti-discrimination laws to include protections for LGBT people.

Hernandez ruled that the governor overstepped his authority by creating the order. Edwards says he intends to appeal the issue.

"We are disappointed in the court's ruling today," Edwards said in a statement. "In his ruling, the judge declared that Louisiana law recognizes the governor as the constitutionally superior officer to the attorney general, but did not agree that the executive order is within the authority of the governor to implement. With great respect for the role of the Louisiana legislature, we continue to believe that discrimination is not a Louisiana value and that we are best served as a state when employment decisions are based solely on an individual’s qualifications and job performance.”

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Winnas & Loozas of the fall 2016 election

Posted By on Fri, Nov 11, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ clout was apparent in the elections, particularly his support of Democrat Foster Campbell in the U.S. Senate race. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards’ clout was apparent in the elections, particularly his support of Democrat Foster Campbell in the U.S. Senate race.

The acrimonious campaigns of 2016 set new lows even by Louisiana standards, but as always Election Day leaves in its wake a fresh set of political victors and vanquished. And because we love elections so much here in the Bayou State, we get to have one more before it’s all over — the U.S. Senate runoff Dec. 10.

That Senate showdown no doubt will have its share of fireworks, but in the end it isn’t expected to be close, which means it’s already time to take stock of the carnage. Herewith our post-election recap of Da Winnas and Da Loozas, starting with …

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Louisiana Public Broadcasting to air live U.S. Senate debate Oct. 18

Posted By on Mon, Oct 17, 2016 at 4:05 PM

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Confused by the 24 names on the ballot for the Nov. 8 Senate race? The Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) and Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) will be hosting a 90-minute debate tomorrow night with the five candidates who met LPB-CABL's criteria.

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

The real 'sanctuary city'

Posted By on Sat, Sep 10, 2016 at 2:23 PM

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has railed against "sanctuary cities," but it's Congress, not local communities, who are dropping the ball on illegal immigration. - CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has railed against "sanctuary cities," but it's Congress, not local communities, who are dropping the ball on illegal immigration.

We hear a lot of noise these days about immigration, but not a lot of objective information. Let’s start with the basics: Immigration is a federal matter, not a local one. Nevertheless, in recent months some Louisiana politicians have grandstanded on the issue of so-called “sanctuary cities,” a term that isn’t even defined in the law. Even a cursory look at the facts proves the demagogues wrong on virtually every count.

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Attorney General Jeff Landry's demagoguery in plain sight

Posted By on Fri, Sep 2, 2016 at 5:01 PM

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY DAVID KROLL
  • PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY DAVID KROLL
Earl Long used to scoff that if you wanted to hide something from then-Attorney General Jack Gremillion, put it in a law book. Today, Uncle Earl would surely say something similar about Louisiana AG Jeff Landry — only put it in plain sight on a map of Louisiana. Landry clearly doesn’t know Jefferson Parish from New Orleans.

That must be the case, because in his zeal to make political hay out of a tragedy, Landry erroneously stated that an illegal alien who clearly lives in Jefferson Parish is nonetheless a beneficiary of New Orleans’ alleged “sanctuary cities” policy. Indeed, there are so many things wrong with Landry’s shameless, ham-fisted, demagogic attempt to grandstand on the bodies of two innocent people killed in a tragic accident in St. John the Baptist Parish that it’s difficult to get them all into one column.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Y@ Speak: Invest-ed

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 5:40 PM

President Obama visits Louisiana following the August floods, Invest 99 Luftballoons pops its head into the Gulf, the Saints pick up some Duraflame logs to get started on this season's tire fire, and more from the final hours of The Worst Month.

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