Governor Edwards, on his monthly talk show Ask the Governor, said minimum wage increase successes in other southern states have galvanized his administration and their allies to push for pay raise for working class Louisianans again in the next legislative session.

Corporate lobbies like the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry oppose the increased pay but…

“I just think that they are wrong, and I think that the majority of the people in Louisiana support an increase to the minimum wage. Something that is modest, but meaningful.”

Edwards has stuck to his guns on the issue since his 2015 election, where he made raising the minimum a key plank in his platform. While Arkansas jumped to 11 an hour, and Missouri voted in 12 over time, Edwards says he plans to pursue what he calls his modest campaign pledge….

“One of the things that I was advocating then was that we increase the minimum wage here in Louisiana. I would like to do that in two steps to 8.50 an hour from the current 7.25.”

But a legislative leader on minimum wage issues says 8.50 an hour may not cut it this time around. New Orleans Senator Troy Carter says after three years of zero progress, he’s looking at a more ambitious plan than what the Governor is proposing.

“We’re slipping further and further behind the eight ball, so it will be a little bit higher than it was in the last bill because the cost of living continues to increase.”