Takeaway: In his campaign for governor, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite, continues to criticize Gov. Bobby Jindal as if he’s the incumbent. Given Jindal’s declining popularity in Louisiana, it’s a strategy that has been paying off during the early leg of the 2015 contest, Edwards told LaPolitics in an interview Thursday. “It’s something that people all over the state recognize, that I was criticizing the governor and his administration for its unethical and sometimes illegal decisions. I was doing that when his approval rating was around 70,” Edwards said. “But it’s nowhere close to that anymore.”
The Advocate: Stephanie Grace: Vitter’s trial balloon causing a stir
Takeaway: In a field packed with Republicans, this race could come down to the Democrats. Another well-known donkey on the ballot will eat into everyone’s support, except for Vitter. Additionally, if it comes down to two Republicans in the runoff, it will be the Democrats who decide on the next resident of the Governor’s Mansion.
Takeaways: It’s never too early to go negative.
Takeaway: Talk of the Legislature nullifying the flood authority’s lawsuit continues. If that does happen, what becomes of the so-called “poison pill” provision in the related legal contract? Under that agreement, the attorneys would still have to be paid their expenses and hourly wages if the case is nullified.
The Advocate: Medicaid funding expected to come up short
Takeaway: DHH has a $155 million shortfall in its Medicaid program. But officials there say not to worry, because they stumbled upon $100 million in rebates through a pharmacy program. Unanswered, though, is how the remaining $55 million will be accounted for, in addition to $30 million that’s needed to underwrite another program for autistic children. This challenge also brings to mind Gov. Bobby Jindal’s refusal of a Medicaid funding expansion from the federal government.
The Washington Post: Study: Refusing Medicaid expansion will cost states billions of dollars
Takeaway: As a result of the governor’s decision, Louisiana will forgo $1 billion in funding, according to the study.