In case you’re more interested in what he said than our analysis of it, here’s the raw video of the 29-minute speech opening the legislative session yesterday.
If you watch that video, once Edwards starts speaking there isn’t any actual applause for 12 minutes and 20 seconds, and then it’s fairly muted – it’s a bunch of Democrats applauding his boasting he’ll save Louisiana $100 million with the Medicaid expansion. Edwards goes on for a while about Medicaid expansion and how awesome it is, and none of the Republicans are buying it – even the Democrats don’t seem to think it’s all that awesome.
He hardly engendered much goodwill, mind you. Edwards opened the speech by bitching at the leges for not passing all his tax increases in the special session last week. “Too many refused to either vote for new revenue or to identify budget cuts to close the gaps as we are required to do,” which he says at the beginning, pretty much shut down any applause he was going to get from the majority of the House.
And Edwards launched into a litany of hard-core Democrat agenda items, almost none of which have the slightest chance of passing.
He wants to increase the minimum wage, which is unlikely to get anywhere. He’s going to try to attack school choice and de-emphasize standardized testing. He wants a choo-choo train from Baton Rouge to New Orleans AND one in North Louisiana (!?). He wants an Equal Pay bill making it grounds for a lawsuit if women get paid less than men on a particular job regardless of factors other than discrimination which could explain why. Same old, same old.
There is little reason to believe this session will produce anything of value. You have a governor who spent eight years in the legislature seeing what’s possible given what the majority of the legislators will vote for, particularly in the House, and learned nothing from the experience. He’ll march up the hill trying to pass the Louisiana Democrat Party’s legislative agenda and die on it rather than attempting to get passed what can be passed.
And the real problems this state needs to address will get no treatment at all for the next four years. That’s the truth of this session and the three coming after it. Everything else is simply screaming and casting of blame.