Governor John Bel Edwards marked the beginning of the 2019 legislative session Monday addressing members of Louisiana’s House and Senate. Before laying out his priorities for the session, Governor Edwards pointed out there’s one thing the Legislature won’t be discussing.
Louisiana is one of five states in the nation that doesn’t have a minimum wage law of its own. Instead, it sets the same rate as the federal government, $7.25 an hour. That rate hasn’t changed since 2009. And while democratic Governor John Bel Edwards has urged the Republican-controlled Legislature to set and raise the minimum wage in Louisiana, all efforts have failed.
Increasing the minimum wage, expanding equal pay for women, strengthening policies against sexual harassment — these are all goals Gov. John Bel Edwards wanted to achieve in the regular session. But last week, all three policies hit a wall.
Earlier this week, the full Senate rejected bills that would establish a state minimum wage and expand equal pay for women in Louisiana. On Thursday, a labor committee showed there's not much appetite for those policies in the House, either.
The looming fiscal cliff has dominated talks between lawmakers and the administration, but there is a regular (non-fiscal) legislative session starting in less than two months. What’s on the governor’s agenda for that?
Economist Loren Scott talks with us about his report showing a low return on investment for the state from the film industry tax incentives. He also talks about his assessment of Governor John Bel Edwards' push for increasing the state minimum wage to $8.50.
DeePak Singh, author of "How May I Help You? An Immigrant's Journey from MBA to Minimum Wage," speaks with us one writing his memoir, as an immigrant from India, about the perils of immigration to the U.S. for people of all lands and cultures.