The State of Louisiana obviously has serious budget problems, supposedly from the leadership of previous administrations.
Newley elected governor John Bel Edwards (D) took to the airwaves yesterday to address possible ramifications should proposed tax increases not be passed in an upcoming special legislature session.
Should no action be taken by April 30, basic services such as medical care would be cut, state universities would shut down and current students receive incomplete grades, and athletics at LSU and other state-run universities suspended.
He got everyone’s attention – mission accomplished.
And followers of the University of Alabama and other Southeastern Conference schools have already begun to circle like buzzards for the crack at getting Heisman Trophy candidate Leonard Fornette and other student-athletes to transfer.
Myself, I suck at poker – but this points to classic saber-rattling and a bluff.
Some who weighed in on the issue yesterday suggested Edwards would be recalled in an instant if he comes close to disbanding athletics at LSU (and other state institutions).
It would likely be worse than that – like an overnight coup at the State Capitol.
Reasonable Louisiana residents should be more concerned about elimination of medical services,TOPS scholarships and students who have spent tens of thousands not able to graduate much more than the loss of simulated warfare next fall.
And it is hard to see how the loss of 90,000-plus fans at Tiger Stadium for seven Saturdays each fall would fix anyone’s budget.
As a lifelong Wisconsin resident, I saw the same movie five years ago about a state who cried broke. The solution had the newly elected governor targeting state workers along with the elimination of collective bargaining and a significant increase in university of tuition.
Thousands of schoolteachers and others in public sector raised hell and Scott Walker faced a recall election, only to defeat his opponent by the same margin he did in the regular election and Wisconsin’s ‘budget repair bill’ became reality.
But that is a polarizing Republican who excels at the game of divide on conquer and had support to fend off the detractors.
Governor Edwards sounds like the polar opposite. But somehow I imagine a new budge hammered out at the 11th hour, like many things wait until the last minute.
Meanwhile the University of Wisconsin just rolled out ticket information for LSU v. Wisconsin at Lambeau Field on Sept. 3.
Something says that game will be played.