JR Ball: Shame on GOP state legislators for special session about nothing  

    We better not hear word one from any Republican in the state Legislature about Louisiana’s public coffers being so empty that they have no choice but to whack funding for higher education, health care or anything else in the budget, writes Business Report Executive Editor JR Ball in his latest opinion piece. 

    This allegedly supersized conservative body better not slice one penny of public money from what’s already in the budget for LSU or any other institution of semi-higher learning in this state.

    Not after the clown show of a special legislative session that Louisiana just witnessed, Ball writes. 

    The supposed reason Republicans felt the need to spend some $43,000 a day over a roughly four-week period was to strip the governor of his ability to unilaterally decide how Louisiana should navigate a pandemic that’s claimed the lives of more than 5,600 Louisiana residents, begin healing the economic wounds inflicted by COVID-19 and government’s efforts to stymie its spread, and get the state back to its mask-free laissez les bon temps rouler way of life.  

    As usual, in Louisiana, the joke’s on us, Ball writes. 

    After squandering four weeks and accomplishing little except doling out $20 million-plus in pork projects to bolser re-election bids, House Speaker Clay Schexnayder and allies settle on a game plan requiring no special session to execute—getting a majority of its members to sign a petition revoking the governor’s emergency orders. Now the petition is tied up in a lawsuit where taxpayers are stuck paying the bills for both the plaintiff (the governor) and the defendants (House Republicans).  Read his full column here.