LAKE CHARLES, LA (WAFB) - Four candidates to be the next governor of Louisiana sounded a lot alike at the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association's Gubernatorial Forum in Lake Charles Friday morning.
Most agree Louisiana's number one problem is the state's budget and some believe current Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan isn't working.
"I've said the first thing I would do the second I'm sworn in is call a legislative special session focused on fundamental spending and budget reform and fundamental tax reform," David Vitter said. "That's what Governor Jindal should be doing now.
"Unfortunately, he's not. That's what I'll do the second I'm sworn in, and I've laid out specific proposals about the track we need to get on to stabilize the budget in a fair, balanced way."
Jay Dardenne said Louisiana has to quit hopping from crisis to crisis.
"We've got to have some stability," Dardenne said. "It's truly a crisis that may not get resolved during this legislative session and may fall to the next governor in January, and I'm ready to pick up the ball and start running with it."
The third republican in the race, Scott Angelle, says Louisiana needs to stop giving away so much money.
"We've gone through fire drill after fire drill, the building is on fire now, it's no longer sustainable," Angelle said. "The game is up.
"We've got to do a better job. We have so many ways where we give money away, and we don't get a return on those monies. We've got to eliminate those things."
The lone democrat in the race, John Bel Edwards says the budget is one thing but it starts with education.
"The most pressing issue facing Louisiana is education and the lack of adequate opportunity for kids to get an education in Louisiana that's first-rate," Edwards said. "Obviously, all the solutions require fixing the structural budget deficit that we have in Louisiana.
"We've got a budget deficit this year of $1.6 billion. It was $1.2 [billion] before oil dropped a penny below the forecast, and so clearly that's the biggest challenge we have, because we have to start investing in our people again."