Louisiana is used to lagging behind other states, but on one key measure, it started the new year by falling even further behind. More specifically, the state’s lowest-paid workers did.

With Congress having abandoned a once bipartisan consensus that the minimum wage should be periodically increased to keep up with the cost of living, the task has now fallen to states and localities, and many have responded. On Jan. 1, 19 states  increased the minimum hourly wage employers must pay, including some that also tend to skew Republican.

Louisiana is not among them, despite the best efforts of Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. While 29 states now have minimum wages above the federal level, long stuck at $7.25 an hour, Edwards has consistently seen his extremely modest goal of an eventual $8.50 thwarted by a conservative Legislature.

Edwards vows keep trying, though. Absent a surprise turnaround during this year’s legislative session, he’ll surely make raising the minimum wage part of his platform for reelection.

Prospects are no better than they have been in the past. But perhaps more than any major Louisiana politician recently, Edwards speaks with deep empathy about those trying to raise families on meager pay.

The question is, what would it take for his adversaries to finally see things from his perspective?

Follow Stephanie Grace on Twitter, @stephgracela.