Political Chatter For The Week

— Speaker Taylor Barras has been unanimously elected to serve as chair-elect of the Southern Legislative Conference, which will have its annual meeting in 2019 in New Orleans.

— Letter to the legislative auditor from the Louisiana Law Enforcement PAC… Investigation into BRAVE program in Baton Rouge requested… The firestorm continues for Mayor Sharon Weston BroomeREAD IT

— The Coalition for Public Safety has named Rep. Julie Emerson as its “July Justice Champion.”

— Gov. John Bel Edwards has appointed Emalie Boyce as the new director of the Division of Administrative Law. She replaces Ann Wise, the founding director, and was most recently the governor’s deputy executive counsel.

Julie Tesh is the new director of the Capital Region Legislative Delegation. She replaces Errin Flynn, who is now with the American Cancer Society.

— Lobbyist Michael Willis presents the “Bad Joke Of The Week,” this time courtesy of Professor Kevin Morgan of the Louisiana News Bureau: “Did you hear about the toilet stolen from the police station today? Police have nothing to go on!”

— Attorney General Jeff Landry has partnered with Digital Citizens, a consumer advocacy group, to produce a PSA on pirating websites. WATCH IT

— Maverick PAC has announced the honorees of its 2017 “Future 40” class. The Future 40 award recognizes “young professionals from across the country who best represent the next generation of leadership in the public and private sector.” Louisiana had two names on the list: Jimmy Baehr and Luis Llamas.

Paul Rainwater, a former chief of staff to Gov. Bobby Jindal, spoke today on a panel about responding to oil spills at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

— Get thee to Grand Isle! That’s where the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission is meeting Thursday. The commission will hear legislative updates from Stuart Bishop and Norby Chabert, the chairs of the House and Senate natural resources committees. There will be some red snapper action too during the meeting.

— After 37 years of service Brian Bodin is officially retired from the Vermilion Parish Clerk of Court’s Office. (Effective today.)

— U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy traveled to the White House Monday to meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and a handful of governors to discuss a path forward on the Obamacare repeal and replace. “We had a productive meeting. All involved want a path forward,” said the good doctor. “There are many ideas in Graham-Cassidy-Heller and the Patient Freedom Act that can be next steps. I will continue to discuss these ideas with the administration, governors and folks back home, because the American people need relief.”

— U.S. Sen. John Kennedy has signed on as a co-sponsor to the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, which expands and enhances the G.I. Bill.

— Cassidy and Kennedy have introduced the Red Snapper Act of 2017 to “address long-term solutions for red snapper recreational management in the private recreational sector.”

— What you really wanna do is… dance! New Orleans’ beloved all-male dance team, the 610 Stompers, will hold its annual auditions on Aug. 12 and Aug. 13 at Harrah’s Casino.

— Press Release: “Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards officially proclaimed August 2017 as #ABLEtoSave Month, raising awareness about the integral role the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act plays in helping individuals with disabilities receive public benefits.”

— Interim Jefferson Parish Councilman Jack Rizzuto will be a candidate for constable in March.

— Congressman Garret Graves will speak to the Baton Rouge Press Club at noon on Monday.

— Congressman Clay Higgins is hosting a town hall meeting Thursday at Youngsville City Hall at 6 p.m.

Rasmussen: “Illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border has fallen to a 17-year low since President Trump took office, but voters don’t think he’s doing any better than his predecessor handling the nation’s immigration situation in general.”

Stateline: “A Bipartisan Health Care Fix? Governors Have Some Ideas”

— Americans for the Arts and the National Lieutenant Governors Association has awarded Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser the “Public Leadership in the Arts Award.”

— Last week Congressman Mike Johnson introduced two pieces of legislation, the Increasing Transparency in Federal Audits Act and the Furthering Oversight in Expired Federal Grants Act, “aimed at reforming and streamlining federal grant procedures.”

— In related action, the House Judiciary Committee voted 19-11 last week to approve Johnson’s Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act. The congressman said the bill “makes a number of improvements to our nation’s laws to prevent fraud and abuse in the asylum system and ensure it is reserved for those truly fleeing persecution in their home countries.”

— Press Release: “With support from the Louisiana Public Service Commission and Commissioner Foster Campbell, SWEPCO today took steps toward becoming the first Louisiana utility to purchase a wind-power farm in the Great Plains wind belt.

At Campbell’s request the PSC voted to ease regulatory requirements and allow SWEPCO to take advantage of government incentives that make the Oklahoma wind project ‘some of the lowest-cost energy available’ to SWEPCO, the company said.”

— DEQ’s latest newsletter. READ IT

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