BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — While Louisiana’s Democratic governor will keep his executive mansion for four more years, he will have some new neighbors — making up the most Republican Legislature in state history.
The state’s Republicans enter 2020 with 68 of Louisiana’s 105 House seats, up from 60 in the expiring legislative term. In the 39-member Senate, Republicans won 26 seats; that’s up from 25, and the added seat gives G.O.P. Senators two-thirds’ power to override Gov. John Bel Edwards’ vetoes.
“With a supermajority in the Senate, and close to a supermajority in the House, it gives us an equal footing with him on issues,” said Senator-elect Franklin Foil, a Baton Rouge Republican finishing his final term in the state House.
Political observers suspect the new legislative makeup may hinder Edwards’ goals to craft a state minimum wage and maintain revenue streams.
“At the top, yes, the governor won,” Southern University political science professor Albert Samuels told a Baton Rouge press luncheon Monday. “But the Republicans won everything else.”
Edwards, the Deep South’s lone Democratic governor, insists compromise remains alive. Republicans have held bicameral majorities since 2011 and agreed with Edwards to renew part of an expiring sales tax in 2018.
“We still have people, regardless of party, who sit down and talk,” Edwards told BRProud.com’s Harrison Golden. “We figure out where we can agree, where we disagree and how we move beyond the disagreements in order to move our state forward.”
Edwards, who defeated Republican challenger Eddie Rispone by some 40,000 votes Saturday, will take his second oath of office Jan. 13 at noon.