LA governor tells business leaders the state is on the right track

Louisiana governor touts growth in state's economy
(Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA)
(Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA)
(Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA)
(Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA)

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards briefed business leaders during a stop Tuesday afternoon in Northwest Louisiana.

He hosted a roundtable discussion at Bossier Parish Community College on East Texas Street in Bossier City.

The governor's message to those business leaders: Louisiana is on the right track.

And Edwards cited a list of facts to back up that assertion.

First, he recalled how the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis announced last week that Louisiana's economy grew at a rate of 2.3 percent in 2017, surpassing the national average of 2 percent.

The state's economic growth was faster than that of 35 other states.

The governor also reminded the business leaders that state lawmakers cut taxes by $550 million while also cutting spending.

This was a return visit for Edwards. He traveled through Louisiana in fall 2017 seeking ideas from business leaders ahead of the approaching legislative sessions.

So this visit was all about focusing on results.

Edwards told the group that the bipartisan budget agreement will fund critical state services from health care, social services and public safety to the TOPS college scholarship program.

During a brief introduction, Edwards told business leaders: "At the end of the day, after three special sessions and a regular session that lasted for almost three months, we were able to come together and, in a bipartisan way, compromise."

Moody's Investors Service apparently noticed by removing Louisiana from the negative watch list on its credit rating.

"We're in a better place, I believe," the governor concluded. "And I want to thank you all for your efforts because I think that the business community, education community stepped up."

Christus Health Shreveport-Bossier Chief Executive Officer Isaac Palmer said he like what he heard from the governor.

"We are headed in the right direction. We are stabilized financially. And now we have to start tackling some of the bigger issues we couldn't tackle.

"The last couple of years is budget, budget, budget. It feels like right now we've accomplished some of those and we can start tackling on some new challenges."

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