Louisiana’s new treasurer takes office, with new governor and AG

Bonds

Jeff Landry was sworn in as the state’s 57th governor on Monday, while John Fleming was sworn in as state treasurer and Elizabeth Baker Murrill took over as state attorney general.

In an October election, Landry, a conservative Republican, replaced Democrat John Bel Edwards, who was term-limited out of office.

He had been the state attorney general and was replaced by Murrill in a November run-off election.

John Fleming, Louisiana’s new state treasurer, is shown in 2014 when he was a member of Congress.

Bloomberg News

Fleming, the 72-year-old Republican taking over as state treasurer, served four terms in the House of Representatives. He is also a physician, entrepreneur and U.S. Navy veteran.

He replaced John Schroder, who ran unsuccessfully for governor.

As treasurer, Fleming is chair of the State Bond Commission, which receives applications from local governments that want to sell debt or raise taxes. These applications are reviewed for legal compliance, including the ability to repay debt. If the applications are okay, they are placed on an agenda for consideration at a public meeting where the commission either approves, rejects or defers the application for further discussion.

In April, S&P Global Ratings revised the outlook on the state’s general obligation bonds to positive from stable and affirmed the rating at AA-minus.

In May, Moody’s Investors Service raised Louisiana’s GOs and issuer credit rating to Aa2 from Aa3, citing significant progress the state made in restoring financial reserves and liquidity. The state’s outlook, previously positive, was revised to stable.

Fitch Ratings rates Louisiana AA-minus with a stable outlook and Kroll Bond Rating Agency assigns the state an AA rating with stable outlook.

Fleming served in Congress from 2009-2017 and was one of the founders of the House Freedom Caucus.

Later, he was appointed to three positions in the Trump administration — as deputy assistant secretary at Health and Human Services from 2017-2019, as a Senate-confirmed assistant secretary of Commerce for economic development in 2019 and in the West Wing of the White House as a senior advisor to the president in 2020.

Fleming grew up in a working-class home. His father died while he was still in high school, according to his biography. Despite hardship, he worked his way through college and was accepted into medical school.

Jeff Landry, shown speaking at a congressional subcommittee hearing in March, is Louisiana's new governor.
Jeff Landry, shown speaking at a congressional subcommittee hearing in March, is Louisiana’s new governor.

Bloomberg News

Landry, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, is a fiscal and social conservative who has fought against environmental, social and governance issues and backed a tough on crime agenda.

When he was attorney general, Landry clashed with then-treasurer because Schroeder, a pro-gun proliferation right-winger himself, because the treasury hired a firm the state had previously blacklisted for gun policies to underwrite a deal, saying he had no other options with expertise to handle the Garvee transaction.

Landry, 53, served in the U.S. House from 2011 to 2013 and was a lawyer in private practice until he was elected as attorney general in 2015.

Murrill, the new attorney general, is from New Orleans and worked as a journalist for a newspaper in Florida before she went to law school and became editor in chief of the Louisiana Law Review. She became a U.S. Supreme Court Fellow and served as solicitor general of Louisiana.

Articles You May Like

Carl Icahn gets two seats on JetBlue’s board. Here’s how he may help build value
Dearth of supply spurs munis to outperform taxables
BoE may begin cutting rates before hitting 2% inflation target
Navalny’s allies accuse Russian authorities of trying to cover up his death
White House sends $5.8 billion water infrastructure funds to states