Capitol Access

Weekdays at the bottom of the hour during Morning Edition

Reports on Louisiana politics, government and the people shaping state policy.

Follow Capitol Access on Twitter @LaCapAxS.

C-Span

It’s hard to tell what aggravates Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler more: The expected low turnout for tomorrow’s statewide election, or the cost of holding it.

 

“It costs $6 million here in Louisiana to run a statewide election,” Schedler said, speaking on C-Span last week. "It costs me the same amount of money to run a presidential election at close to 70 percent voter turnout as it will cost me to have a 12 percent voter turnout."

“We can certainly put our money at better usages here in Louisiana, in my opinion,” he added.

courtesy: LA DEQ

For years, it’s been joked that DEQ stands for “don’t even question,” since Louisiana allows its industrial plants to self-report hazardous releases.

 

"There’s some entities, if they have a release, they’ll say, ‘Well, nothing left the fence line,'" Dr. Chuck Carr Brown acknowledges.

 

Of course, that was before he became Secretary of Louisiana's Department of Environmental Quality last year.


The public comment period on the EPA settlement with Exxon is now open. The agreement involves reducing air pollutants at eight Exxon facilities — five in Texas and three in Baton Rouge.

 

"The company has agreed to install what we call 'flare gas recovery systems,'" the EPA's Patrick Foley explains. "These requirements will cost about $300 million to implement, but they’ll have significant reductions in air pollutants."


Sue Lincoln / WRKF

Kerry Myers served on the Criminal Justice Reinvestment Task Force and says he’s dismayed at the people watching and waiting for the reforms to fail.

“There are some people in this state that would love to find the next Willie Horton," says Myers. "That’s unfortunate because that began driving policy – policy based on fear, policy based on ignorance.”

But Myers, who also served time at Angola, is a realist, as well.

C-Span

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry appeared on C-Span last week and was asked about the duties of the state’s chief legal officer.

"Over the last couple of decades, you’ve seen the role of attorney generals become more and more important as the federal government has encroached more and more on the state’s ability to govern itself," said Landry. "And you’ve seen attorney generals push back on those particular federalism issues."

Yet when asked for specifics, he seemed to contradict the spirit — if not the fact — of "pushing back on federalism."

Sue Lincoln

Gov. John Bel Edwards has had his fair share of public tiffs — most notably with the House leadership and Attorney General Jeff Landry. But when he addressed the annual assembly of Together Louisiana on Thursday, it had all the earmarks of a love fest.

“My No. 1 priority is to invest in people. Together Louisiana has been a partner in that,” said Edwards

LA DWF

Louisiana House Natural Resources Committee members are bugged by some plant problems: too much of one, and the die-off of another. The first needs more bugs to eat it; the second needs a way to kill the bugs causing it.


Edwards campaign/Schroder campaign

Early voting for the Nov. 18 State Treasurer runoff continues through Friday, with Secretary of State Tom Schedler saying he expects overall turnout to be “horrible.”

“I am anticipating 11, 12 percent turnout for this election,” Schedler says.


la.house.gov

Do you ever feel like your vote doesn’t count? In many cases, it doesn’t, due to the way your voting district has been drawn.

“The fundamental principle is ‘voters elect the representatives.’ With partisan gerrymandering, the representatives elect their voters,” explains Dr. Brian Marks, who teaches political geography at LSU.


legis.la.gov

“We are sitting here with a fourth of the state budget in front of us, and there is nothing we can do to adjust that for the next two years? I find that breathtakingly hard to comprehend,” House Appropriations chair Cameron Henry said, as he led the blockade of contract extensions for managed-care companies coordinating the state’s Medicaid services.


Pages