Jindal, Gov.-Elect Edwards want more info on Syrian refugees

Jindal, Gov.-Elect Edwards want more info on Syrian refugees

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Gov. Bobby Jindal and Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards may be on different sides of the aisle, but they agree on at least one thing: The state should get more information from the feds before allowing Syrian refugees in. The two discussed the issue Tuesday in Baton Rouge.

The topic has polarized the country for weeks. Now, Jindal says the White House is reaching out to him and other governors who oppose allowing Syrian refugees into their states.

"They've sent a letter that they would offer additional information, we are absolutely requesting that information. My concern is that this information will be provided in aggregate and after the fact," Jindal said.

Standing side-by-side with his successor at the governor's mansion, Jindal said information about who the refugees are probably wouldn't be handed over to state government until after refugees come into Louisiana. He said his first priority is to protect residents here - a sentiment echoed by Edwards.

"Public safety is the absolute number one priority of any government, and it will be when I'm governor, as well," Edwards said.

This may be one of the only areas where the Republican governor and Democratic governor-elect agree, except for the fact that both say they want a smooth transition between the two administrations.

"We had a cabinet meeting earlier today in this room, I did, and made sure they knew I wanted them to be as helpful as possible with the new governor's team and meet with them and share with them whatever information or access they need," Jindal said.

"There's a lot of work to be done in a short period of time, and the cooperation makes a big difference," Edwards said.

One of the biggest issues Edwards faces is how to fix a more than $1 billion dollar budget deficit. Jindal said the two discussed the budget in a closed-door meeting Tuesday afternoon, but he didn't give specifics.

With only a month and a half left until his inauguration, Edwards said he's got his work cut out for him. One more item on his to-do list: get better acquainted with his new residence.

"It is a bit overwhelming I have to tell you," Edwards said, chuckling.

Edwards has already assembled most of his transition team, led by state Sen. Ben Nevers. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand is also part of the team.

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