Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Who is minding the store?

You know what they say. Mayors are like starting quarterbacks. If you have two, you really don't have any. Okay they don't actually say that about mayors. But it sort of does apply to the city's current situation as it relates to the legislative session. Who is in charge? Is anybody?
"Bills are running really fast," said state Rep. Helena Moreno, a New Orleans Democrat who will be leaving her seat to become an at-large City Council member on May 7. "It's toward the end of a shortened session where you'll see a lot more action. I think it leads to people not being able to catch a bill. People really have to be on their toes this session and keep monitoring what's happening."

Moreno said the Landrieu administration typically briefs lawmakers about the administration's bill package, and provides them with a list of legislation they're supporting. That didn't happen this year, so legislators have been mostly on their own in filing bills that could affect the city.
This article also says LaToya cancelled a Monday news conference where she was expecting to outline her priorities, assuming she has them.  Also, ha ha, I had forgotten about this.
The mayor-elect had previously announced that state Rep. Neil Abramson would be her point person in the Legislature, raising eyebrows among elected officials who have sparred, sometimes bitterly, with Abramson.
As far as we can tell, Neil's big priority the past few years has been punting all the budget questions to a constitutional convention... as well as, probably, getting himself elected to the state senate, but that's not important right now.  What is important is nobody seems to know who is advising Cantrell's transition team with regard to the legislative agenda.  We're pretty sure it isn't Derrick Shepherd.   Maybe it's the Business Council.
Cantrell has had a far longer transition than Landrieu because of a one-time-only quirk in the election schedule that was approved by voters in 2014.

The $194,000 is only a snapshot of her overall intake; she plans to release at least one more financial report for her “Forward Together New Orleans” transition fund before she takes office May 7.

The transition’s single biggest donor from mid-December to mid-February was the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, which gave $50,000.
Update:  Turns out she supports this one bill. Sort of.
New Orleans Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell came to the House Administration of Criminal Justice committee meeting where both pieces of legislation were considered.  Speaker Pro Tempore Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, spoke in favor of the legislation at the committee hearing.

Cantrell said she backs the legislation, but wants to more review of the details of the project that Harrah's has laid out. She refused to say what portions of the casino's plan may need more scrutiny.

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