BATON ROUGE, La. — John Bel Edwards said he was heading down to New Orleans for the CFP National Championship in the dome just hours after he was sworn in for his second term as Louisiana governor.
Earlier, hundreds of supporters waited in wet weather on the state capitol steps to watch the south's only Democratic governor take the oath of office.
Edwards reminded the crowd that in some cultures rain is a sign of good will and a blessing.
"I'm going to accept that today," he said.
Edwards starts his second term without the billion dollar budget crisis that dominated much of the debate during his first four years.
That's something he spoke about in his inaugural address.
"We found common ground in order to solve the fiscal crisis, and as a result, we are now operating with surpluses instead of deficits," Edwards said.
Edwards said his second term priorities include early childhood education, workforce development and coastal restoration.
He also called on state lawmakers to increase the minimum wage and pass a law mandating that women be paid the same as men for equal work.
"Even though we have come a long way, we certainly have a lot more work ahead of us," Edwards said. "I'm the first to acknowledge that challenges remain."
The inaugural ceremony was overshadowed by the College Football Playoff national championship.
"What an exciting time it is for Louisiana," Edwards said. "Like many of you, I too am looking forward to an LSU victory tonight down in New Orleans in our very own Superdome."
The governor challenged state lawmakers to put aside party labels and work together in a bi-partisan way to get things done here in Louisiana. He'll need their support. The GOP controlled legislature picked up more Republican seats in the House and Senate during last year's election.