Gov. Edwards delivers message to lawmakers at start of 2nd special session

Gov. Edwards delivers message to lawmakers at start of 2nd special session

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Gov John Bel Edwards had a specific message for lawmakers Tuesday during the first full day of the second special session aimed at closing the state's budget deficit.

"I respect each and every one of you. I sat where you are sitting right now, and listened to a governor make empty promises and pretend all is good. I will not do that," he said.

Jim Engster, political analyst and host of the Jim Engster Radio Show, said the governor has the right temperament to deal with an opposing set of lawmakers.

"He served in the House and he knows how the wheels work in government and he served in the chamber were he's having the difficulty," Engster said. "But, within the House there are factions within the Republican Party that are differing. So, trying to bridge that gap is a really tricky maneuver."

Engster said with the political climate as such people are already planning to try and make Edwards a one-term governor.

"David Treen was a Republican governor with a Democratic legislature, so the roles were reversed and Treen had a lot of problems and he was a one-term governor," Engster said. "I think John Bel Edwards is trying to avoid the 'Treen Effect' and wants to serve two terms and he knows the only way he's going to do that is to get things done. The only way to do that is to have some compliance with the legislature."

For his part, the governor said it's time for the lawmakers to be a little less self-serving.

"Too many people are taking their cues from Washington," Edwards said. "Too many people have already spent enough time there to learn the art of distraction and division."

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