John Bel Edwards urges business leaders to make suggestions
NEW ORLEANS - Louisiana's next governor asked business leaders in New Orleans to offer advice, especially when they disagree with him, as he prepares to deal with a state budget crisis.
Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards got a friendly reception Friday as he spoke to a luncheon crowd during the annual meeting of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce.
But he acknowledged that many in the room likely didn't share his party affiliation. He's a Democrat in a mostly Republican-friendly state.
Edwards, who takes office Jan. 11, promised an open administration and urged chamber members to approach him with suggestions.
The governor-elect described deep budget problems facing the state, including cash flow shortages, an impending shortfall that Edwards said could reach $1.6 billion and his desire to shield higher education from further budget cuts.