S. Lincoln

When it comes to Louisiana’s revenue famine, eating analogies abound.

“All options are on the table,” Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne has said.

“With respect to next year, it takes on the shape of a menu of options from which to choose,” Governor John Bel Edwards says. “And everyone will have a seat at the table.

Yet just two weeks into the new administration, it’s as if food critics are publishing reviews before they taste what they’ve ordered.

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Sue Lincoln

Several thousand Louisiana political illuminati are lighting up the nation’s capital this weekend, as Washington, D.C., becomes the state’s 65th parish for the Mystick Krewe of Louisianans’ Mardi Gras celebration.

The festivities began last night, with a business networking and cocktail event known as “Louisiana Alive”. Officially, it’s a showcase of the Bayou state’s music and cuisine, but this is where alliances and deals are forged –- begun in the hospitality suites and often cemented over a drink or two in the Washington Hilton Hotel’s bar.

Wallis Watkins

At a press conference on Tuesday, Governor Edwards introduced options for stabilizing Louisiana’s long term budget and the $1.9 billion hole expected next fiscal year. 

Wallis Watkins

Lawmakers’ significant others aren’t going to be in love with the governor, as John Bel Edwards says he’s setting the special session to start Valentine’s Day.

“I expect to start on February the 14th and end no later than March the 4th.”

And more than a few of the lawmakers aren’t going to love the proposals, which will include tax increases.

“The need for additional revenue is now, and it’s acute,” Governor Edwards told the press Tuesday.

Governor Edwards said his meeting with House Speaker Taylor Barras was cordial, though the Republican was non-committal about how legislators will receive the proposals to alleviate the budget shortfalls.

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.”