Page Cortez

Guest host Jan Swift talks to new Louisiana Senate President Page Cortez about the issues that will define the upcoming session, and Anne Kim about the growing number of “opportunity deserts”.

Elizabeth Garner / LSU Manship School News Service

Gov. John Bel Edwards debuted a $32 billion state budget proposal Friday, but ongoing disputes between the administration and Republican lawmakers over how much money the state has to spend looms large over the start of this year’s negotiations.

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, House Speaker Clay Schexnayder and Senate President Page Cortez prepare for a meeting of the Revenue Estimating Conference on Jan. 31, 2020
Paul Braun / WRKF

Governor John Bel Edwards and top Republican lawmakers will start the 2020 legislative session locked in a familiar standoff.

On Friday, the Revenue Estimating Conference, or REC, couldn’t agree to update the state's official revenue projections. That means the governor’s executive budget would have to be based on last year’s estimate — about $100 million less than economists expect the state to have in the coming fiscal year.

Wallis Watkins / WRKF

Last week, the 72nd Louisiana Legislature convened for the first time, electing new leaders in a brief organizational session.

After months of backroom negotiations, they settled on Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, for Speaker of the House and Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, as Senate President.

Both positions were hotly contested behind closed doors, but things boiled over in the Speaker's race.

Paul Braun / WRKF

Democrat John Bel Edwards officially began his second term as Louisiana Governor Monday, taking his oath of office on the Capitol steps.

A drizzling rain fell over the crowd for much of the morning. Still, hundreds filled the capitol lawn to witness the ceremony. 

Wheelbarrow of Needs; Thimble of Money

Oct 13, 2017

Louisiana’s House and Senate Transportation committees have spent the past couple of weeks on the road, seeing and hearing firsthand what needs to be done around the state.

“What we heard loud and clear was the locals really know what they need, and if you can’t get it done then let us do it. Let us get a local option,” Joint Transportation chair Page Cortez said.

Even Attempts at Humor Failing

Mar 9, 2016
Sue Lincoln

The mood at the Capitol is nearly as gloomy inside as outside. While the Senate remains frustrated by the continued intractability of the House, some in the upper chamber tried to lighten the somber mood with humor Tuesday evening.

Baton Rouge Senator Dan Claitor proposed an amendment to the alcohol tax bill, upping the tax by a nickel a beer. He came with a prop.

“I got a nice can here in purple and gold,” Claitor said, as he placed the beer can on the lectern at the front of the Senate chamber. “Drink up for Higher Ed.”

Ladies Use Logic to Burst Rhetoric Bubbles

Mar 7, 2016
Media Commons

Perhaps it’s because it’s so late in the session, with so much left to be done, but some of the ladies in the Legislature are no longer putting up with political posturing from the men on the far right. The women are instead using logic to deflate the rhetoric.

Take  West Monroe Senator Mike Walsworth’s argument against a bill to end the Enterprise Zone program.