JR Ball: Louisiana GOP lawmakers making the most of a good crisis 

    “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” It’s a seize-the-day mantra brought to life by Rahm Emanuel, the former Chicago mayor best known as the “get ‘er done” guy for former President Barack Obama and a prolific fundraiser for former POTUS Bill Clinton.

    No one, of course, will ever confuse our current crop of Republican state legislators—or the respective leadership at LABI and the state’s various oil and gas groups—with being sympathetic to the causes of either Clinton or Obama. Yet it’s undeniable that this cadre is unabashedly embracing Emanuel’s method of crisis management, writes Business Report Executive Editor JR Ball in his latest opinion piece. 

    While most of us are scrambling to decipher the new normal following the initial wave of COVID-19, Republicans in the Louisiana House and Senate are going all carpe diem, approving a big industry Christmas list of legislation with laser-like efficiency. 

    The message from those who control such things is that this crazy, shortened sprint of a legislative session would focus exclusively on the bare necessities. You know, stuff like approving a state budget so that the government can continue functioning after June 30, passing a construction budget and emergency measures meant to resuscitate an unstable economy brought to its knees by pandemic mitigation efforts. Everything else could wait for a subsequent special session or two.

    Accepting those parameters, here’s the outline on what legislators believe is crucial to bringing good things to life:

    1) Do whatever we can to prop up an oil and gas industry that’s struggling due to any number of factors outside our actual control.

    2) Put trial attorneys out of business, especially those who make a living by suing insurance companies, business owners and C-level executives as well as those who claim the oil and gas industry is responsible for the erosion of Louisiana’s coast.

    3) Allowing each and every one of us to pack heat pretty much anywhere and everywhere—including churches—except buildings where elected officials congregate.

    These are not new ideas, Ball writes. The only thing novel about most of these measures is the speed in which most zipped through the state House and Senate.

    What’s also unclear is how any of these measures—no matter how fabulous one believes them to be—provides an immediate jolt to Louisiana’s economy. Read Ball’s full column and send comments to editor@businessreport.com.

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