These days, it often feels as if state politics is on an inexorable march toward the national model, with philosophical divisions hardening and common ground increasingly difficult to find.

We're seeing that in the ongoing fight over how to avert the fiscal cliff and fully fund government. But maybe we're not seeing it everywhere.

A year out from what could be a tough reelection fight, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards has signaled that he'll take on several initiatives generally associated with Republicans during the regular legislative session, including reducing some of the nation's strictest occupational licensing requirements. Likely on the list is a frequently cited example of excess, Louisiana's mandate that florists be licensed by the state.

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"I'm not sure why we do that," Edwards said recently.

The initiative, which is still be formulated, has drawn praise from some frequent Edwards adversaries, including the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. Leaders of the state branch of the conservative Americans for Prosperity, who are often harshly critical of Edwards, went on Twitter and pronounced themselves "excited to hear more."

If that's ironic, so is one emerging voice of caution: Republican Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, whose office oversees the licensing program for florists.

"(Without licensing) you're going to set up a situation where anybody can open a floral shop and there's no method to regulate the industry and protect the public," Strain said.

Follow Stephanie Grace on Twitter, @stephgracela.

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