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Governor Edwards opens new legislative session with State of the State address

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BATON ROUGE - Governor John Bel Edwards opened the 2020 legislative session by laying out his priorities this year.

His $32 billion budget has a $285 million increase built in that includes around 20 percent going toward improvements in both higher and early education.

"We must do everything possible to make sure our children are ready for school from the very beginning," he said. 

The governor's other priorities this year are to decrease maternal mortality rates, raise the minimum wage and lower car insurance rates for everyone.

"I think we can all agree that our auto insurance rates should be based on our driving records, not on if you're female, or poor, or widowed, or putting your life on the line for our country," he said. 

One thing Edwards did not address in his speech has some Republican lawmakers upset.

"I wish he would have spent a little time discussing infrastructure. I know it's on his priority list, but I wish we had a little more discussion about it," Senator Rick Ward said. 

But Democrats are very much on board with his goals, particularly the changes to the insurance industry in the state. 

"I think he hit on the head regarding tort reform. The governor is supporting bills that will actually reduce rates," Rep. Ted James said. 

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