The results of the Louisiana House denying Governor John Bel Edwards his choice is speaker is paying off, in a bad way for Edwards. The new committee assignments are out and Edwards is the big loser.
Here are the key facts:
- 12 committee chairs are Republicans, 4 committee chairs are Democrats
- Cameron Henry’s consolation prize for not becoming Speaker was Appropriations Committee Chairman
- Kevin Pearson is back as Retirement Committee Chairman so he will continue to advocate pension reform
- Nancy Landry is Education Committee Chairwoman so Edwards’s agenda of weakening charters and school choice will be dead on arrival.
- The Criminal Justice Committee is very much a law and order bunch. That means Edwards will have to give something to get his criminal justice reforms.
- The Health & Welfare Committee makeup means there probably won’t be a fight over Medicaid expansion.
- Neil Abramson is Ways & Means Committee Chairman and he has a very pro-business record.
- Transportation Committee though seems to be pretty disposed towards supporting a gas tax increase
What this makeup signals is what issues the House is preparing to fight with the governor on and what they’re willing to compromise on. For example, there won’t be much opposition to raising the gas tax to fix the roads in the state. There will likely be a push to support it from the local chambers of commerce and the construction companies.
There probably be much of a fight over healthcare, for now. The House is going let Medicaid expansion happen and they’ll wait and see what happens in the future.
If Edwards wants criminal justice reform, he will have give up something. The current makeup of the Criminal Justice Committee is not very friendly to his ideas, but they can be dealt with.
We have an interesting next four years.