John Bel Edwards was sworn in for a second term as Louisiana governor on Monday, January 13th. The inaugural festivities began early on Monday morning with Catholic mass at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in downtown Baton Rouge. Mass was celebrated by the Archbishop Aymand.
Governor Edwards was sworn in during a ceremony on the steps of the Louisiana Capital beginning at 11:30am. During his speech, the Governor spoke of his priorities and laid the foundation for his next term. Among his priorities are addressing early childhood education and funding this important issue across the state.
“We know that education is key to economic opportunity and the pathway to prosperity must begin at the earliest stage of life,” Edwards said. In addition to early childhood education, he will also focus on his plan to increase education funding across the board and provide a bump in teacher pay.
“Over the next four years we’re going to continue increasing classroom funding and we’re going to give educators additional pay raises that will get them to at least the southern regional average,” Edwards said. Other priorities for the governor include setting the state’s minimum wage at $9 per hour, passing equal pay legislation, and improving the state’s infrastructure.
“As our economy grows, so must the quality of our roads and bridges,” he said.
“The future is ours to seize, but we have to commit here and now to be great, to work together, to continue to reject the partisan rancor and dysfunction that plagues Washington, D.C.,” Edwards said. The inauguration ceremony featured a 19-cannon salute, a performance by the West Point Glee Club as well as prayer and hymns sung by the Centenary College, Grambling State University, and Southern University choirs. The ceremony ended with a reading of Maya Angelou’s “Continue”.
The annual inaugural ball was delayed until late 2020 due to the LSU vs. Clemson National Championship game. More information about the ball will be provided at a later date.