However, this repudiation is surprising, considering the Republican legislature has one of the most liberal spending records in state history, using budgetary tricks and gimmicks to piecemeal a budget year after year without making any significant cuts in the size and scope of state government. Walt Leger, whom Edwards had put forward as his choice in Speaker, is also tolerable enough for the Republicans (they said so themselves!). Leger, however, got Speaker Pro Tempore as a consolation prize.
This repudiation from the legislature comes with the expectation that it will continue. It could, depending on the priorities of the state legislators.
If the Republicans in the state legislature want to keep power, they will fight against Edwards every step of the way. They will either be voted out, or they will find their party losing control of key issues in the state. If those same Republicans want to spend big and want people to vote for them solely because of what money and special projects they can bring in, they will allow Edwards to do as he pleases.
The upcoming legislative session will be one to watch, because you have adversarial parties controlling the state government. Edwards has a liberal agenda to push and while the Republican legislature is not the most conservative, there are some hawks in there that will stand against him. The conflicts we see between the legislature and the governor’s office will be as fascinating as they are worrying.
After all, when is the last time a motivated legislature was a good thing for Louisiana?