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Edwards tries to delay likely day of reckoning

It’s too common for Louisiana elected officials to break the law, but in this particular instance the anxiety prompting this reflects a larger policy failure.

This week, the state’s Revenue Estimating Conference announced it would it abrogate its legal duty to met before the end of the year. The REC provides revenues estimates for the current fiscal year, which could require executive and legislative actions to trim an ongoing budget deficit, and for future fiscal years, particularly for the upcoming one where a revenue baseline it determines sets the maximum amount that state government can spend in the budgeting process commencing this spring.

One of its four members, current chairman Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne who represents Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards, asked for this. With a wink and a nod, the other members – House Speaker Republican Clay Schexnayder, Senate Pres. Republican Page Cortez, and university economist Stephen Barnes – assented.


Reverse Robin Hood should trigger TOPS rethink

While those who value effectiveness and efficiency over political patronage and wealth redistribution – upwards – prepare to fend off Democrat presumptive Pres. Joe Biden’s suspension of student loan debt, few states will see less impact from this than Louisiana even as the issue highlights where the state can do better.

To start, Biden’s idea of using executive branch discretion permitted in the law authorizing this lending by the federal government to forgive anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 abuses the law and seems incredibly unlikely to withstand judicial scrutiny. Which is why he’ll try it, even if it is doomed to failure, and understanding the dynamics of the debt held explains this.

While the average debt outstanding was around $29,000 (in 2019), the median was only $17,000 (in 2016, when the average was about the same). This reflects a heavy skew towards graduate education and private schooling. In fact, the large majority of total debt is held by households with high incomes whose members attended expensive schools and/or pursued graduate – usually professional – degrees. The typical household could pay off that average amount at fewer than $200 a month for 20 years, and usually has income that can support that.


Election results confirm GOP takeover of LA

This past weekend’s elections put the final touches on the takeover of Louisiana by the Republican Party.

At the statewide and parish level, the only contest settled in partisan fashion was the Public Service Commission District 1 race where incumbent Republican Eric Skrmetta won a third and final term, leaving the PSC with a 3-2 Republican majority. This complements the GOP majorities on the Louisiana Supreme Court and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and every other single statewide executive office save for that of Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Last year, when Republicans swept to a seat more than a supermajority in the Senate and came up just two short of the same in the House, plus winning handily all but the governorship where Edwards squeaked out reelection, much comment occurred about these topline results. Almost unobserved was a quiet revolution in courthouses that began with sheriffs’ elections in 2019 and concluded with district attorney contests this fall.


Engaged LA voters sent amendment to defeat

Misunderstanding why Amendment 1 failed last weekend serves as a larger metaphor for the steady erosion of leftist legacy media influence in Louisiana.

That amendment would have allowed out-of-state residents to serve on state governing boards of higher education. The majority of states permit this, with proponents arguing that it allows for broader perspectives on higher education management, and certainly the state’s very underachieving system of higher education in the state could benefit from this additional input.

But Louisiana higher education management won’t benefit from a larger knowledge base until it moves away from its long-standing tendency to have too many political hacks awarded seats by the governor who appoints them with rubber-stamp Senate approval, who essentially buy their way onto a board. Let’s just review campaign contributions from the Board of Regents appointments made by Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards.


Progressive mayors costing LA; relief needed

Where is the Kevin Lincoln for Shreveport and New Orleans?

Republican Lincoln will assume the mayoralty of Stockton, CA next month. A native, he joined the Marines, rising to become part of the elite unit guarding the president on helicopter trips. Out of the service, back home he became a pastor, then challenged incumbent Democrat Michael Tubbs. (Technically, the office is nonpartisan, but the candidates are widely labelled as above.)

Elected at 26 after a term on the city council, Tubbs was the left’s rock star. A majority-minority electorate gave him 70 percent of the vote to become the city’s first black mayor, whereupon he began implementing a progressive agenda, largely funded by hitting up starry-eyed leftist philanthropies. Since Stockton has a council-manager system of government (the city council appoints a professional manager to run most city functions), the amount of money he raised for these programs far exceeded his austere official city budget.