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Nine Lousiana State University students have been diagnosed with the mumps, and the school said today that number is up from last week.

Paul Braun/WRKF

Governor John Bel Edwards and top Republican lawmakers will start the 2020 legislative session locked in a familiar standoff.

On Friday, the Revenue Estimating Conference, or REC, couldn't agree to update the state's official revenue projections. That means the governor's executive budget would have to be based on last year's estimate — about $100 million less than economists expect the state to have in the coming fiscal year.

Last week, the 72nd Louisiana Legislature convened for the first time, electing new leaders in a brief organizational session.

After months of backroom negotiations, they settled on Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, for Speaker of the House and Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, as Senate President.

Both positions were hotly contested behind closed doors, but things boiled over in the Speaker's race.

Democrat John Bel Edwards officially began his second term as Louisiana Governor Monday, taking his oath of office on the Capitol steps.

A drizzling rain fell over the crowd for much of the morning. Still, hundreds filled the capitol lawn to witness the ceremony. 

For the second straight year, Republican lawmakers have refused to accept state economists’ forecast of expected revenue in the upcoming fiscal year, a crucial benchmark for crafting the state budget.

The partisan stand-off over the budget could also delay funding for several projects in Louisiana, including the reopening of the Algiers Ferry, coastal restoration in Plaquemines Parish and payments associated with the Harrah’s Casino contract.

In Thursday’s meeting, Representative Cameron Henry (R-Metairie), on behalf of House Speaker Taylor Barras (R-New Iberia), voted down updated forecasts presented by the Legislative Fiscal Office and pision of Administration.

The big news out of Washington this week is house Democrats unveiling of two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress surrounding his dealings with Ukraine and conduct during the subsequent investigation.

As the inquiry continues, members of Louisiana's congressional delegation on key committees and in leadership roles are positioned to influence these historic proceedings.

Here to discuss is Elizabeth Crisp, Washington Correspondent for The Advocate. 

Democrats have a formula-- a recipe for success in Louisiana elections. Demographer Greg Rigamer explains.

"You need, as a Democrat, to win 90% of the African American voter and a third of the white vote," Rigamer said.

And African Americans need to account for at least 30% of the votes cast.

"That's been the formula that has held true for every every race since really 2003," he added.

With the 2019 election behind him, Governor John Bel Edwards’ focus has shifted from winning a second term to figuring out how to get his initiatives through an even more conservative legislature.

He talked about his priorities last week at his first press conference since the election.

By now, you have no doubt heard that on Saturday night, Governor John Bel Edwards won re-election over Republican challenger Eddie Rispone. 

But how did the Democrat incumbent score victory in ruby-red, Louisiana?

To talk through the results, I'm joined by demographer and Edward's campaign consultant, Greg Rigamer.

On any given day there are an estimated 12,000 people in Louisiana being held in parish jails awaiting trial. For the most part, these are people who haven't been convicted of a crime-- meaning they retain the right to vote.

But while they may be eligible to vote by law, the harsh realities of life behind bars amount to 'practical disenfranchisement.'

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