What’s On Tap?

So what’s on tap for the 2018 regular session, aside from the budget?

Here’s our running list of issues. If you have any other potential bills you’re working on, or are hearing about, drop us a line at news@LaPolitics.com.

— The Bayou State’s gambling and gaming laws rarely take centerstage at the Capitol, but that could change in next year’s regular session. Something called the Riverboat Economic Development and Gaming Task Force has been undertaking the first thorough review of these laws since 1991. While there’s no organized drive to expand gaming or gambling, there is some chitchat about moving Louisiana’s riverboats onto dry land. Task force members are likewise looking into how promotional money giveaways are taxed, the possibilities of sports betting and the resort frameworks used by casinos in other states.

— Lawmakers may likewise take another glance at the state’s dedicated funds, which hold a few billion dollars that the House and Senate are unable to access to help balance the budget. The Dedicated Fund Review Subcommittee, which is a legislative panel, is currently taking a closer look at these pockets of money. Sen. Sharon Hewitt and Rep. Rick Edmonds are serving as co-chairs of the subcommittee, which may propose legislation for the 2018 regular session. While certain funds are likely safe, such as the Transportation Trust Fund and the Minimum Foundation Program, others may be ripe for changes.

— On the education front, there’s the Commission on Assessment Review and Use in Public Schools. That’s a pretty fancy title for a group of teachers and education advocates who are trying to determine whether public school students are over-tested. Rep. Bernard LeBas has a lead role in the House and could be the host for any resulting legislation. The commission is casting a rather wide net and is reviewing all local, state and national exams. Members want to know if there are any duplications in the tests and how much time educators are spending on the administration side.

— Rep. Julie Emerson is working with the Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police on a bill to “give peace of mind to the survivors of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.” The idea is to require law enforcement employers to continue providing health care coverage to survivors at existing rates.

— In another House district further east, Rep. Paul Hollis is crafting legislation “to stop price gouging by drug makers and distributors.” Inspired by a recent law passed in Maryland, it will focus on off-patent or generic drugs and will permit the state to essentially challenge prices in court.

— The Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration is exploring a few avenues for enhancing employer fraud enforcement.

— Gov. John Bel Edwards wants to take another look at felony sentencing reforms and the Felony Class System Task Force (yes, another task force) has assumed the lead on that push.

— The Department of Education is expecting legislation on student fee policies.

— Secretary of State Tom Schedler may have a policy package aimed at increasing voter turnout.

SPONSORED: ARA Holds Annual Trade Show in New Orleans

This week, the American Rental Association (ARA) held their annual conference and trade show, The Rental Show, in New Orleans. The event

Feeling Special: Day 2 Down, 15 To Go

— SPOTTED... The top hands of Gov. John Bel Edwards, at Sullivan's Steakhouse in Baton Rouge, just hours after their boss delivered his

ALFORD: Is Constitutional Convention Chatter Peaking?

This Louisiana Legislature’s upcoming session-palooza will host at least six legislative instruments, maybe more, calling for various forms

Political History by Mitch Rabalais: When Duke and Shaq Clashed

In 1991, the LSU Basketball team was one of the best squads in the country. Featuring the nation’s top player, Shaquille O’Neal, the Tigers

Political Chatter

— The Legislative Black Caucus has new officers: Rep. Randal Gaines was elected chair, Rep. Ted James is vice chair, Rep. Jeff Hall is first

Gamard’s Beltway Beat

Congress is in recess this week, but plenty has happened since we went on hiatus for the Gras. As folks down in Louisiana reveled in and


— Tuesday 02/20: Haley Jupiter, Emma Allain and Jason Berry — Wednesday 02/21: Former Congressman Charles Boustany — Thursday 02/22:

LOWDOWN: What NOT to Do When Reporters Come Knocking

In this episode of the Lowdown, we’re letting you in on five things you should avoid doing when you come in contact with a journalist —

HASHTAG LOUISIANA: Policing Chatrooms and Mastering Newsfeeds

 This episode of our digital-focused podcast is all about communication. We give you some simple guidelines for engaging with your

SPONSORED: What to Expect This Time Around

When the Louisiana State Legislature convenes on March 12, one issue will overshadow all others — the budget. It will be the absolute

Alford: Defining The Louisiana Mood

I was eating boiled crawfish last Friday night with my wife and children in Baton Rouge — Crawfish season! Finally! — when I received a text

Rabalais: That Year There Was No Mardi Gras

When the good times (and parades) didn’t roll for Dutch Throughout history, only cataclysmic events such as invading Yankees, Yellow

Political Chatter

— Congressional aide Michael Willis’ BAD JOKE OF THE WEEK: “How do you catch a unicorn? Unique up on it!” (P.S. Happy Mardi Gras!) —

Gamard’s Beltway Beat: Another Shutdown?

It’s a good thing our congressional delegation got their Carnival fill at the 65th Parish a couple of weeks ago, because pending votes on


— Tuesday 02/06: Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, Laura Veazey, Stephen Waguespack, Kellee Hennessy, Tom Fitzmorris and Cindy

JBE SAVES MARDI GRAS: Not-so-special session delayed

LaPolitics embarking on annual Carnival break Friday is the new deadline (instead of tomorrow) for the GOP-led House and the

5 Hard-Hitting Campaign Ads

It’s time to review your opposition research, fire up your cameras and get ready to pay your media consultant extra. In this episode, we’re

POD: Liz & The Supremes

In our 48th episode of the LaPolitics Report, we talk to Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill a few weeks after she gave oral arguments

SPONSORED: A Congress Divided

When President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address this week, it arrived on a Congress as divided as Washington

Lowdown: Your German-Born Governor

We'd like to introduce you to Michael Hahn. He was Louisiana's only German-born governor, a close friend of Abraham Lincoln, the original

Capitol Gains: JBE, Re-Election Politics & Chicken Stuff

Gov. John Bel Edwards was the guest for our inaugural episode of Capitol Gains, Louisiana’s only Sunday morning political talk show. In

Hashtag Louisiana: Todd Graves & One Love For Mardi Gras

Our new podcast meets you at the intersection of Louisiana politics, social media and business with host Ira Wray. This first episode is

LaHistory: Foster and Buddy’s Comeback Bid

Foster and Buddy’s Comeback Bid In 1995, Louisiana’s political landscape was shifting. Frustrated with problems in the gambling


— Tuesday 01/30: Congressman Mike Johnson, Denise Thevenot, Matt Holliday and Sonny Cranch — Wednesday 01/31: Congressman Garret

A Very Looziana SOTU (and Other Chatter)

— In case you missed it last night, the Bayou State owned the first five minutes… — U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise got one of the