Governor speaks with Arc of East Ascension

Logan Ridenour
Governor John Bel Edwards addressed disability services including the Arc of East Ascension last week.

Governor John Bel Edwards took time to answer questions from the Arc of East Ascension and disability service providers from Louisiana. The meeting took place at the Bluebonnet Library in Baton Rouge on September 23.

The Arc of East Ascension provides services and resources for families who have either a child or family member with developmental disabilities.

Governor Edwards addressed the fact that Louisiana is only one of five states to maintain the federal minimum wage at seven dollars and twenty-five cents an hour. This standard was last passed by Congress in 2009. However, an increase in minimum wage could put fiscal pressure on providers.

"I will work as hard as I can to give you a rate increase when and if we ever raise the minimum wage," said Governor Edwards.

"I believe we need to serve the most vulnerable. I believe we need to do more for them," he said.

Another question from the providers pertained to the increasing number of unfunded mandates they have been expected to fulfill.

"It is my sincere hope – beyond that it is my expectation that things will continue to get better and they certainly aren't going to get worse," said Governor Edwards. He said as a politician it is important to remember the individual.

"Not just think about the numbers, but every one of those numbers is a real life human being," said Governor Edwards.

"If you think about things in those terms then you can't help but be compassionate."