Sometimes it seems like the Jindal administration has been all about wooing business and industry, and then keeping them happy. What do those hoping to succeed Jindal plan to do in the way of economic development?

“My administration will focus on job creation and economic development,” Scott Angelle says. “We have made great progress in that area, but I think we need to do more.”

David Vitter also says it will be an important goal, if he’s elected governor.

“I would continue that focus on economic growth and job creation, but shift it a little bit: not focused any more on incentives, but focused on capacity building.”

We’re far past the days when Huey Long won the governorship by promising free school textbooks for every child. Now it’s all about education reform. Where do today’s candidates stand?

“We label a lot of things in Louisiana ‘reform’, that don’t really offer or deliver much improvement,” says Democrat John Bel Edwards, who opposed the 2012 state education reforms, including school choice. The Republicans all support school choice.

LIGO: Searching For What No One Has Seen Before

Oct 5, 2015

A few weeks ago in mid September, LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory in Livingston Parish, began their science run. They began collecting data.



Louisiana’s backlog of unfunded road and bridge projects sits at between $12-billion and $14-billion. How do the candidates for governor propose to catch up, and pay for new roadwork needs?

“Make it a priority in the Capital Outlay Budget, so that we’re going to provide particular projects in Capital Outlay a much higher percentage than we have right now to go to the backlog and the problem of preventive maintenance and road repair,” Jay Dardenne says.

Joseph A. Marcus / www.wildflower.org

Modern medicine was born out of folk medicine. Today, though, modern medicine feels pretty distant from whatever folk traditions have stuck around, and it's easy to assume they don't have much in common. Travis Lux tells us about a collaborative study from Pennington Biomedical Research Center investigating the healing potential of native Louisiana plants.


Every two years, Louisiana's governor appoints a poet laureate. In August Governor Jindal appointed Peter Cooley. Cooley is the director of the creative writing program at Tulane University, he has authored ten full-length collections of poetry and has been published in magazines such as the New Yorker and the Atlantic. He gave his inaugural reading as Poet Laureate earlier this week.

Health care funding bleeds the most when Louisiana’s budget is in the red. Since it appears the scalpel will be wielded for some time yet to come, how do gubernatorial candidates plan to stitch Louisiana’s health care together?

”I would accept the Medicaid expansion, and I would do it very early in my administration,” John Bel Edwards says, adding that it makes fiscal sense. “They’re our tax dollars that are going to other states.”

David Vitter is more reserved about accepting the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

“I have not taken off the table — I’ve been very clear about this — expanding coverage under the Medicaid program.” But, Vitter says he would set conditions for doing so.


Higher education in Louisiana has been steadily dealt the budget axe, even as the state worked to grow its community and technical college system. How do the candidates for governor plan to fund higher ed, with continued budget shortfalls expected?

David Vitter says he’ll just put a halt to the problem.

“Higher ed has been cut and cut and cut, that has to stop, pure and simple. That's why I would start my administration with a special session on spending reform and tax reform to stop that never-ending cycle of cuts.”


For many, Louisiana’s environmental concerns start at the coast. Certainly, all four of the main gubernatorial candidates agree it’s a crucial issue.

“For our very survival, one of those key challenges is protecting and restoring and stabilizing the coast,” David Vitter says.

Jay Dardenne goes further.

“There is no greater threat to Louisiana than the loss of our coastline. It affects Shreveport and Chicago as much as it does Chackbay and other places along the coast.”

“It threatens many things that are special about Louisiana, including our fisheries, our wildlife, tourism, oil and gas,” John Bel Edwards elaborates.

Sue Lincoln

How are the candidates for governor planning to fix the state’s deficit—and what will that mean for the taxes you pay? Thus far, Scott Angelle, Jay Dardenne, John Bel Edwards and David Vitter have offered more generalities than specifics.