Minimum wage hike, teacher raises among priorities as John Bel Edwards addresses legislative session

BY BLAKE PATERSON

Gov. John Bel Edwards called on lawmakers to address the inequities exposed by the coronavirus pandemic by passing a rash of priorities ranging from a minimum wage hike to pay raises for teachers in a speech Monday capping off the first day of Louisiana’s regular legislative session.
Speaking from a makeshift stage just beyond the end-zone at Southern University’s A.W. Mumford Stadium, Edwards cautioned that the pandemic is far from over and urged the public to avail themselves of one of three “extremely safe” vaccines, even as demand for the life-saving jab has lagged in recent weeks.

“Today, these bleachers are bare. But one day soon – if more people continue to get vaccinated and we hold down the transmission of the virus – we are going to fill this stadium once again,” Edwards said, singling Southern University out for administering 1,000 doses of the vaccine last weekend.

One year ago, just as Gov. John Bel Edwards was preparing to kick off the legislative session with a “State of the State” address before a crowd of lawmakers in the House chamber, as is tradition, Louisiana reported its first case of the coronavirus. Since then, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of nearly 10,000 Louisiana residents.

Despite the “dark and cloudy days” of the last 13 months, Edwards noted that there’s ample reason for hope: Louisiana recently expanded vaccine eligibility to… Continue Reading Full Story >>>

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