2022 Louisiana Regular Legislative Session comes to an end; Edwards gives his take
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - After a long session with a special redistricting right in the middle of it, state lawmakers were eager to wrap things up.
“We’ve been here with the special session on redistricting almost the whole year. So, I think everybody’s just kind of ready to go home,” said Rep. Richard Nelson, R-Mandeville.
Speaking with members of both parties throughout the day about their takeaway from this year, they all seemed to be on the same page.
“For me, it was a pretty good session. I think there were wins and losses on both sides of the aisle. But I do believe that collectively we made some progress, and we’ll move the state forward,” said Rep. Mathew Willard, D-New Orleans.
For his part, Gov. John Bel Edwards said the same. He touched on the money and location of the proposed new Mississippi River Bridge, saying he did not have a preference as to where it should be placed and that he is grateful for the $300 million passed in the budget when he originally asked for $500 million.
“And that’s gonna be very helpful to us, and it also signals to the private sector that we’re very serious about this as well,” the governor added.
But his mood quickly changed when he announced what would happen with the bill to ban biological boys from playing in girl sports.
“I’ve allowed that bill to become law without my signature, not because I thought the bill was good, you all know my views on it haven’t changed. But Senate Bill 44 was going to become law whether or not I signed it,” Gov. Edwards added.
Gov. Edwards also talked about the need to raise the minimum wage, which has not been done since 2008, and tied that in with the pay raise for teachers he had asked for. He asked for a $2000 raise; lawmakers gave him $1500. He ended his press conference by expressing his gratitude for how lawmakers have been able to put their differences aside and still find a way to create solutions. A problem he said has plagued politics in Washington these days.
“I pray that we never, ever, look like Washington D.C and the dysfunction that grips our nation’s capital,” said the governor.
While things were wrapping up Monday, June 6, the state’s middle congressional district found that the congressional map the legislature passed violated the Voting Rights Act.
The governor said he will be calling for a special session to redraw those maps in the next couple of days.
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