Gov. John Bel Edwards talked about some of his priorities for 2017 during a speech at the Council for a Better Louisiana annual conference.

Edwards says his big goal is to ensure the state uses money from the Transportation Trust Fund in the right places, like improving the daily congestion in Baton Rouge near the I-10 Mississippi River Bridge.

“We are going to fix this problem at the Washington Street exit in Baton Rouge with a new Terrace Street exit.”

Edwards also says the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge will be widened, along with other sections of I-10 in Baton Rouge. The governor’s task force on transportation will likely support a higher gasoline tax in order to improve our highways. Edwards says our interstate system needs to be upgraded, as we saw portions of our major highways closed because of flooding this year.

“And we’re telling the folks incorporate into your design an elevation of that section of interstate that was underwater, that had to be closed because if we’re going to invest that kind of money we don’t want that to ever happen again.”

The governor says he’s proud some of the successes the state has had this year, like Medicaid expansion. Edwards added he’s looking forward to working with President-elect Trump to help address Louisiana’s needs. He says next year we’ll have the chance to enact criminal justice reform.

“We can do better on all fronts, incarceration, recidivism and public safety by simply doing what other southern conservative states like Texas, South Carolina and Georgia have done.”