Legislative Black Caucus

Sue Lincoln

Governor John Bel Edwards saw some victories for his agenda in the Senate this week, with the advancement of criminal justice reforms and anti-discrimination legislation, as well as a bill to increase the minimum wage. The House, on the other hand?

“Quite frankly, I’m disappointed – particularly in the House,” the governor said, with a sigh.

Sue Lincoln

“I really didn’t know what to expect. I was surprised, but, uh, I’ve noticed that that is the way that it is and I understand that historically it’s been like that.”

Representative Barbara Carpenter of Baton Rouge is new to the Louisiana House. The dean of international education at Southern University, she says she was a bit stunned to see nearly all the African-American representatives seated on one side and toward the back of the chamber.

“Well, it kind of bothers me,” Carpenter admits. “I’ve looked at it, but I’m just not sure because I don’t even know how the seat assignments are done. I was just assigned a seat.”