John Bel Edwards

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Gov. Edwards organizes task force to review sexual harassment policies

Posted By on Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 4:35 PM

Gov. John Bel Edwards.
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Gov. John Bel Edwards signed an executive order Dec. 6 assigning a seven-member team to review sexual harassment and discrimination policies within state agencies and departments.

The task force will review all agencies that fall under the executive branch and "identify which current policies are effective and which ones are not, whether new ones need to be implemented and whether additional changes need to be made in these areas," Edwards said in a statement. "The goal is to ensure state employees are safe at work and have the confidence in knowing that any allegation made will be taken seriously and that there are adequate procedures in place to address those complaints."

All state agencies within the executive branch have been directed to review their policies and submit them to Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne before Jan. 1. The task force will report back to Edwards' office before March 2018.

"Every person, whether they work in state government or private industry, should be able to do their jobs without fear of being sexually harassed or discriminated against,” Edwards said. “There is no circumstance under which harassment or discrimination of any kind will be tolerated by my administration."

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Backed by tax incentives, massive IT company to open in New Orleans, hire 2,000 people

Posted By on Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 5:56 PM

From outside the Superdome Nov. 13, Gov. John Bel Edwards and officials announced DXC's plans to open an office in New Orleans in 2018 with 2,000 hires over the next several years.
  • From outside the Superdome Nov. 13, Gov. John Bel Edwards and officials announced DXC's plans to open an office in New Orleans in 2018 with 2,000 hires over the next several years.

A multi-billion dollar IT company expects to open its New Orleans office in January 2018, with plans to hire 2,000 people within the next several years — all part of a multi-tiered effort among state and local politicians and business groups, tax incentive programs, local higher education systems, and the company itself, DXC Technology, which courted several states before landing with New Orleans.

At an announcement outside the Superdome Nov. 13, city and state officials didn’t mince words about the company’s arrival.

Gov. John Bel Edwards called it a “historic” announcement, expected to create more permanent direct jobs than any other development in recent Louisiana history. Mayor Mitch Landrieu called it a “game changer” and “a transformational moment” for the city in advance of its 300th anniversary, with the company’s decision signaling a flag-planting moment for the city and large investors, that there’s “no way city will ever be turned around again.” Greater New Orleans Inc.’s Michael Hecht said the arrival of DXC “emphatically validates New Orleans as a place for business and tech.”

The company’s arrival follows the state’s post-Katrina push for tech profusion, bolstered by tax credits and an ongoing narrative among city leaders and public-private partnershipping programs that the city can and will “win” in the highly competitive tech industry.

The city’s last “win” with General Electric followed gains with Gameloft and IBM, among others. DXC is likely to be its biggest “win" yet.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Court rules Gov. Edwards can't protect LGBT workers from discrimination

Posted By on Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 4:02 PM

Gov. John Bel Edwards.
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards.

A Louisiana appeals court ruling has sided with state Attorney General Jeff Landry, who challenged a 2016 executive order from Gov. John Bel Edwards that bans discrimination against LGBT people in government and state contracts. The three-judge panel sided with a lower court ruling from late last year.

“I have said repeatedly that discrimination is not a Louisiana value, and this decision does not change my conviction that hiring decisions in state government should be based on merit alone," Edwards said in a statement. "Discrimination in state government and by state contractors is wrong, makes us weaker, and is bad for business and economic development. Even President Trump agrees, as he has kept in place a federal executive order which is virtually identical to the order I put in place. I went a step further and provided an exemption for certain religious organizations."

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Editorial: Getting smart — and honest — about crime in Louisiana

Posted By on Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 11:27 AM

The Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola in 2009. - CREATIVE COMMONS/MSPPMOORE
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/msppmoore
  • The Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola in 2009.

By any metric, there are too many nonviolent people in Louisiana jails — and putting them there has not reduced our state’s violent crime rate in any measurable way. We have roughly the same rate of violence as our neighboring states; we just incarcerate more nonviolent offenders. If anything, putting too many nonviolent offenders in jail often turns them into potentially violent offenders after they are released. Think about that as you ponder one more statistic: 95 percent of the people in jail in Louisiana will be released at some point.

Study after study shows America imprisons more of its citizens per capita than any other industrialized country, and Louisiana imprisons more of its citizens than any other state. What we’ve been doing clearly hasn’t worked.

One of the few unqualified successes of the 2017 legislative session was a serious, bipartisan effort to enact a package of criminal justice reform bills. The goal — and it’s a comparatively modest one — is to shrink Louisiana’s nonviolent prison population by 10 percent over the next decade. 

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Gov. John Bel Edwards' office organizing donation drive to help Puerto Rico: how you can help

Posted By on Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 5:28 PM

Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. - COURTESY PUERTO RICO NATIONAL GUARD
  • Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is organizing a donation drive to help the people of Puerto Rico, who are just starting to recover from Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm that flooded the island and knocked out primary infrastructure.

The only donations being accepted are diapers, non-perishable baby formula, baby wipes, baby bottles and nipples and feminine hygiene products. In Orleans, donations can be made at 2218 Elysian Fields Ave.; 5403 Read Blvd.; and 2000 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. In Jefferson, donations can be made at 920 David Drive in Metairie and 5001 Westbank Expressway in Marrero. There are dropoff locations in every parish; a complete list of collection sites can be found here.

The Louisiana Army National Guard will gather items and transport them to Puerto Rico. The drive runs through Oct. 11, and may be extended.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Cassidy vs. Sanders headed to CNN Sept. 25

Posted By on Thu, Sep 21, 2017 at 6:00 PM

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Bill Cassidy join Lindsey Graham and Amy Klobuchar to debate health care legislation Sept. 25 on CNN. - PHOTOS BY AFGE & GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Sens. Bernie Sanders and Bill Cassidy join Lindsey Graham and Amy Klobuchar to debate health care legislation Sept. 25 on CNN.

CNN will air a "town hall" Monday, Sept. 25 with U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham debating Sens. Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar over proposed health care legislation.

Anchor Jake Tapper and chief political correspondent Dana Bash will moderate the 90-minute event, aired live at 8 p.m.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Jimmy Kimmel: 'Bill Cassidy just lied right to my face'

Posted By on Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 10:23 PM


U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy got lots of publicity in the last few months for saying any GOP health care plan would have to pass the "Jimmy Kimmel test" — a term he coined after talking with the late night talk show host, whose son needed open-heart surgery shortly after birth. Cassidy, a physician, promised Kimmel and others that any Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act would include coverage for all; no discrimination for pre-existing conditions; lower premiums for families; and no lifetime caps on coverage.

The new Graham-Cassidy health care bill, unveiled this week, does none of these things, as many medical groups have pointed out — as have Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Health Secretary Rebekah Gee, who wrote letters objecting to the proposed legislation. Kimmel chimed in tonight on his talk show, saying, "Bill Cassidy just lied to my face."
"Before you post a nasty Facebook message saying I'm politicizing my son's health problems, I want you to know: I am politicizing my son's health problems. Because I have to."
"There's a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you," Kimmel concluded. "It's a lie detector test, and you're welcome to stop by the studio and take it any time."

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Editorial: After Charlottesville

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 6:09 PM

Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug. 12, 2017. - CREATIVE COMMONS/ANTHONY CRIDER
  • Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug. 12, 2017.

Watching the images and hearing the words out of Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend was depressing, sickening, infuriating — and necessary. Necessary because the country got a good look at the people who call themselves the “alt-right,” which is their sanitized term for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, Klansmen and other haters who feel emboldened in America today. It’s also necessary because some of them are planning similar rallies in Boston, San Francisco and elsewhere in the coming days and weeks.

Some of the malefactors who caused harm in Charlottesville also were in New Orleans during the weeks surrounding the hotly contested removal of four Confederate monuments. It’s easy to say New Orleans was lucky it didn’t have the chaos and death that marked Charlottesville, but it was more than luck. It was planning.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Edwards, Landrieu, other officials inspect flood damage in Treme

Posted By on Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 3:37 PM

Gov. John Bel Edwards, center, and Mayor Mitch Landrieu toured a flooding spot in Treme this afternoon.
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards, center, and Mayor Mitch Landrieu toured a flooding spot in Treme this afternoon.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, various state senators and representatives, along with a few City Councilmembers, stopped at Willie Mae's Scotch House in Treme this afternoon to discuss the weekend's flood.

Landrieu, who arrived in town this morning from Aspen, Colorado, where he was attending a security conference, toured the restaurant with owner Kerry Seaton Stewart and did a walk-through of a flooded apartment across the street, where a drum kit and a keyboard were among the things that seemed to have taken on water.

"You never know what Mother Nature is gonna throw at you," Edwards said, adding that the state was still assessing the situation to determine whether formal emergency aid would be requested. "We're not bashful about asking for assistance when it's needed," he added.

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Friday, August 4, 2017

John Bel Edwards' tactical pivot

Posted By on Fri, Aug 4, 2017 at 12:26 PM

Gov. John Bel Edwards.
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Less than a month after throwing down a fiscal gauntlet to House Republican leaders, Gov. John Bel Edwards has tacked toward Louisiana business leaders in an effort to address the so-called “fiscal cliff” of 2018 — and possibly start a meaningful statewide conversation about long-term tax and budget reform.

That’s a significant — and tactical — pivot by the governor. The stakes are high, both fiscally and politically.

The “cliff” is approximately $1.2 billion in temporary taxes set to expire on June 30, 2018. If that money is not replaced, lawmakers (and Edwards) will have to slash the state budget — mostly in higher education and health care, but no services will be immune from cuts. For now, Edwards and House Republican leaders are stalemated over how to proceed.

On Tuesday (Aug. 8), Edwards will meet with about two dozen business leaders from across the state to discuss where to go from here. The governor has his sights set on a statewide listening tour, which could make Tuesday’s meeting the launch of a campaign for fiscal reform.

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