Louisiana House committee assignments are in and Democrats have increased their representation on key committees thanks to the bipartisan coalition that elected Speaker Clay Schexnayder.

Despite major losses in the fall election Democrats increased their representation on vital committees. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says that’s their reward for backing Schexnayder.

“The Speakers race was decided and the winning side had about one-third Republicans and about two-thirds Democrats, so what are you going to do? You’ve got to give the Democrats their due, they pulled off a very unusual feat,” says Pinsonat.

A majority of Republicans backed Albany’s Sherman Mack, considered more conservative than Schexnayder.

The coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats now narrowly controls Ways and Means and Appropriations, and Pinsonat says that could stymie conservative priorities, causing inter-GOP friction.

“If you don’t perform and pass those issues, then I think you will see in the Legislative House, a split there that may be irreparable,” says Pinsonat.

Appropriations is where the state budget starts, and Ways and Means covers tax issues.

The Senate saw a total takeover by conservatives, so it’s still unlikely many Democratic priorities will make it the Governor, but they now may be more likely to make it to the House floor than last year.

“Equal pay, raising the minimum wage, spending of the surplus, those are big issues that Democrats and Republicans generally do not agree on,” says Pinsonat.

The pro-Schexnayder coalition has a 13-12 edge in Appropriations, and a 14-4 lead in Ways and Means.

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