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 top shoutouts of tonight’s State of the Union when Prez Donald Trump called him the “Legend from Louisiana.” Scalise also received his own standing ovation.

— But this was the takeaway line from the shoutout: “I think they like you, Steve.” (Enough to give him the big gavel, though?)

— Also getting some love from The Prez was Jon Bridgers of Walker, one of the founding fathers of the Cajun Navy, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Ashlee Leppert, who is based in New Orleans and was a first-line responder to Hurricane Harvey.

— The Advocate’s Bryn Stole, a correspondent who actually works from the Beltway, was seated in the second row of the press gallery tonight.

— In the hours leading up to the SOTU, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s NOLA PAC was raising money by asking donors to “Stand With Mitch Against Trump’s Attacks.” Landrieu, of course, will soon step down as mayor and he has said he has no intentions of running for higher office.


— Congressional aide Michael Willis’ BAD JOKE OF THE WEEK: “What did Baby Corn ask Mama Corn? Where's Pop Corn?!?!”

— Paul Rainwater joined the U.S. Conference of Mayors recently (during the group’s winter conference in Washington) to moderate a panel on disaster recovery and major disasters from 2017.

— Treasurer John Schroder has named former legislative analyst Nancy Keaton to serve as his chief of staff.

— Gene Mills, the president of the Louisiana Family Forum,has received the Charles Colson Advocate of Hope Award from Prison Fellowship.

— Clerk of Civil District Court Dale Atkins has received the endorsement of the AFL-CIO in her bid for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal.

— Dr. Susan M. Bankston of Baton Rouge has officially began her presidency of the Louisiana State Medical Society.

— Sen. Fred Mills, Jr. and Rep. Helena Moreno were named LSMS’s 2017 Legislators of the Year. Sen. Eric LaFleur and Rep. Frank Hoffman were named its 2017 Legislative Advocates of the Year.

—LSMS has launched the “physician-led health information exchange” HealthSYNC of Louisiana, and has appointed a committee to oversee it.

— The Louisiana Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives has officially installed its 2018 board, with Deborah Randolph of the Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of Commerce taking over as president.

— LACCE’s other executive board members include incoming president Paula Ramsey of the Chamber Southwest/Southwest LA Economic Development Alliance and new treasurer Sandra Lindquist of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce.

— LACCE’s other 2018 board of directors members are Melissa Bordelon of Hammond Chamber of Commerce, Camille Conaway of Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, Jamie Hanks of West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce, Jeremy Hidalgo of Broussard Chamber of Commerce, Lisa Johnson of Bossier Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Timothy J. Magner of Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, Dawn Sharpe of East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce, Amy S. Thibodeaux of Crowley Chamber of Commerce and April Wehrs of Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce.

— Applications for the governor’s 2019 Louisiana Children’s Trust Fund Grant are now open.

— LABI President Stephen Waguespack’s latest column: “Unnecessary boards, commissions and fiefdoms should be disbanded. Many of the dedicated funds should be eliminated, thereby allowing those dollars to flow to priorities like education and health care. Medicaid spending increases must be contained, and smart reforms like work and training requirements must be implemented.”

— The TOPS Task Force meets again on Jan. 31. AGENDA

— The Unrig the System Summit is Feb. 2 to Feb. 4 at Tulane. Catch actress Jennifer Lawrence and former Gov. Buddy Roemer on the same day. The schedule is out now.

— The 2018 LMA Mid-Winter Conference is Feb. 20-21, 2018 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge. Register here.

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