WRKF News

How will Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Texas case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstadt affect Louisiana’s similar law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges?

When state Treasurer John Kennedy addressed the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday,  much of his speech focused on his usual litany.

“You’ve heard me talk about this before,” he said. “We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.”

He also gave his take on the trio of legislative sessions just ended.

“Governor Edwards won these last 3 sessions,” Kennedy observed. “The governor beat ‘em like a sugar mill mule. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the Louisiana taxpayer lost.”

Sue Lincoln

When the second special session ended late Thursday night, the Louisiana Republican Party immediately sent out a press release declaring “victory”, and calling Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards “defeated”.

Of course, that’s not how he sees it.

“I don’t believe that we have failed,” the Governor said. “I would question some of their motives, rather than my leadership.”

Sue Lincoln

  Governor John Bel Edwards tried to put a good face on it.

“I am extremely pleased with where we are, considering where we started. And while we may have come up short in a few ways, we made difficult choices and we made tremendous progress,” the Governor said, during a press conference a few minutes after the session’s close.

Yet when lawmakers adjourned the 2nd special session, they were still $350-million short of what was needed for the budget that begins July first, and the chasm between the House and Senate had widened.

“At this point, we do not have the luxury of amending this bill,” Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs chairman J.P. Morrell told the Senate, so on this final day of the special session, House Bill 50 was considered without an expected amendment that could have raised another $88-million.

“House Bill 50 simply changes the way the capital gains tax is able to be refunded,” Jennings Senator Blade Morris explained.

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