Louisiana Record

Monday, February 17, 2020

Pelican Institute: Voters should focus on reform-minded candidates, who will aim to strengthen economy

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By Carrie Bradon | Sep 24, 2019


As the 2019 fall elections approach, reform groups urge voters to closely examine elected officials as the health of the economy rests on their shoulders.

According to TheHayride.com, under Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, the economy has suffered a great deal because he has failed to make good on numerous promises made to voters before he was elected.

While state revenues have increased by $2.2 billion due to tax increases since Edwards took office, state spending has also increased, the website said. Additionally, needed tort and auto insurance reform has been sidelined under Edwards.

Representatives of the Pelican Institute for Public Policy said the think tank is frustrated by Edwards' lack of effort at reform.

“Despite attempts by some to paint a more rosy picture of Louisiana's economy, the numbers show that our state continues to lag behind the rest of the nation in terms of job creation, economic growth and countless other factors,” Eric Peterson, the Pelican Institute's director of public policy, told the Louisiana Record. “If we want to fix these problems and bring jobs and opportunity back to our state, we must revamp our fundamentally broken business climate.”

In addition to Edwards, who is running for re-election, Republicans U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Alexandria, and businessman Eddie Rispone are seeking election for governor. Both candidates have said they pride themselves on their conservative and business-friendly stances and promise to bring reform.

Peterson said that reform is in reach, but it will mean doing what is best for the state in the long run, not just seeking out quick fixes.

“This means enacting comprehensive reforms to our legal, regulatory and tax systems, among others, to ensure they are friendly, fair and consistent for job creators and seekers,” Peterson said.

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