Edwards said he's not against more flexibility in the budgeting process, but that "more flexibility alone won't fix the structural problems in our budget that have led to the sweeping of these dedicated funds by Bobby Jindal, and the drastic cuts he has made to higher education and healthcare."
As to solutions to the current budget conundrum, Edwards pointed to a recent study that examined the question of whether all of the current $7 billion in annual tax giveaways are productive for the state's economy. "It is time to invest in our people. We can start by reducing or eliminating the parts of tax giveaways that just aren't producing what they promised," said Edwards.
"Violent crime is out of control in the city of New Orleans and the top reason is lack of leadership in the city of New Orleans," he said. Vitter went on to say New Orleans police had deteriorated and been mismanaged under Landrieu. Unless there was a leadership change in the city, the state would have to step up with extra resources. "I think his lack of leadership has let NOPD get to this point," said Vitter. "We are going to have to pick up the slack. Unfortunately, that's not going to turn a corner immediately."
Edwards was the most emphatic about establishing a timeline for state police withdrawal. Dardenne and Angelle were a bit more speculative about when the troopers should be pulled out of New Orleans.
"I am convinced that this is the appropriate solution for now," said Dardenne. "I don't know that it is going to go on indefinitely
Still, U.S. Sen David Vitter broke with the rest of the pack, saying the Louisiana State Police should have a permanent detail in the French Quarter. He doesn't have confidence that Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the New Orleans Police Department would be able keep a lid on crime without the extra help.
"No great city is going to be great for long if it doesn't have the adequate ability to police itself," said state Rep. John Bel Edwards, the only Democratic candidate running for governor.
Edwards, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne agreed the extra state troopers in the French Quarter are needed now. But New Orleans should probably provide the additional law enforcement itself eventually. Edwards was the most emphatic about establishing a timeline for state police withdrawal. Dardenne and Angelle were a bit more speculative about when the troopers should be pulled out of New Orleans.
This isn't a crime that is just happening in some faraway place. As we've seen from investigations by Louisiana State Police recently, it's happening here in Baton Rouge and across our state.
That's why we'll propose a legislative package to prosecute criminals to the fullest extent of the law, and protect the vulnerable and often forgotten victims of these terrible crimes.
|2016 Presidential contenders on Crime:|
2016 Third Party Candidates:
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