That’s what our sources are telling us – specifically that Gov. John Bel Edwards had a gaggle of lobbyists for the health care industry in his office this morning and broke the news that he was vetoing the budget to them.
Edwards also apparently told the lobbyists that they needed to make the tax increases he’ll be pushing in the special session on Tuesday a top priority. It was, we’re told, a fairly intense “Go sing for your supper” pep talk.
Somewhat surprisingly, we didn’t hear of any pushback from the health care crowd. Which is something one would expect, since they were the big winners in the budget debate in the regular session – it was the Louisiana Department of Health’s budget which was spared cuts while the rest of the state’s government took it on the chin. Today Edwards told them he was robbing them of that victory, and apparently they accepted the robbery.
Let’s understand what’s happening here. After spending a whole week scaring the elderly that he was going to evict them from nursing homes, and having the legislature respond to those scare tactics by prioritizing the Louisiana Department of Health over everything else, John Bel Edwards is now going to veto the budget which sets that priority and bring the state back to the drawing board on the budget.
How is this anything other than Edwards literally endangering the people he said he wanted to protect?
And more, how is this not a statement that Edwards prioritizes bureaucrats in state agencies over the nursing home patients? He’s vetoing the budget which prioritized “life,” as Senate president John Alario put it, so it’s hard to see how that isn’t a statement Edwards shares the priority for life.
And with an end date of June 4 for the special session which starts Tuesday, as we noted yesterday there is not a lot of time to get through a whole new budget, PLUS pass the tax increases he’s going to want.
This is far and away the most bizarre legislative year we’ve ever seen, and far and away the most bizarre display of political “leadership” in memory. Stay tuned, because it’s only getting weirder.