Gov. Edwards calls for teacher pay raises amid big surplus in final state of the state address

Published: April 10, 2023

By: Molly Ryan, LSU Manship School News Service

Gov. John Bel Edwards spoke to both the House and Senate at the start of what is expected to be the last legislative session of his eight years in office. (Francis Dinh/LSU Manship School News Service)

Gov. John Bel Edwards joined lawmakers at the start of the regular session Monday to outline his agenda in his final state of the state address and call on lawmakers to give pay raises of $3,000 to teachers and $1,500 to support workers.

The state has a $1.6 billion surplus due to floods of federal relief money and increased revenue from a temporary 0.45 percent sales tax increase. One of the big debates this session will be whether to raise the state’s spending limit, which will influence how much of that surplus money is spent and where it goes.

During his address, Edwards reflected on his eight years in office, noting he had inherited a $2 billion deficit in 2016 and will leave behind $2 billion in emergency savings for his successor in addition to the $1.6 billion surplus this year.

Edwards also struck a personal tone to advocate again for legislation that he framed as pro-life, including paid family and medical leave, equal pay, exceptions for rape and incest with abortion and an end to the death penalty.

Read more at WRKF

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