Political Chatter

— Via Rep. Julie Stokes: “Last night, I received a phone call from my doctor confirming lab results. As a result of my surgery on January 3rd, I can now say that I am 100% Cancer Free!”

— Neil Buckingham, formerly with Shell Oil Company’s legal and government relations departments for nearly four decades, officially joined Hood Baumann & Associates last week.

— LMTA HEAD HIRED… PRESS RELEASE: “Today, the Louisiana Motor Transport Association (LMTA) announced that Chance McNeely has been selected to lead the organization as its new Executive Director. The announcement concludes a diligent, months-long effort by the LMTA Board of Directors to fill this crucial role. McNeely has served as an appointed executive at the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development since Governor Edwards took office in 2016.”

— House Dem Chair Gene Reynolds, on the House leadership and a meeting conducted yesterday between Capitol players and Gov. John Bel Edwards: “Unfortunately, those leading our Republican colleagues showed up to the meeting empty-handed, without any idea, speculation, or estimate as to how many of their own members - a majority in our body - would support the proposals which have now been vetted in the media, the public, a republican-led study group, as well as the legislature, for over two years.”

— The Governor’s Office welcomed two new staffers to the ranks on Monday. Nick Albares is Gov. John Bel Edwards’ new health care policy advisor, with an additional focus on children and families, housing and military families. He was previously with the Louisiana Budget Project. Leslie Ricard Chambers is Edwards’ new criminal justice policy advisor, with an additional focus on juvenile justice issues. She has worked for the past eight years as an assistant district attorney for the 19th Judicial District.

— New Orleans Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell officially launched her transition website, “Forward Together New Orleans.”

— The dynamic duo consisting of Roy Fletcher and Jason Redmond are heading up the campaign for Tom Acosta for Division B district judge.

— Josh Borill, former director of state affairs at The Picard Group, has launched State Capitol Solutions, a new lobbying practice. “Since 2004 I have worked inside and outside the rails at the state Capitol,” he said, “and I’m excited about sharing that experience with my clients to advance their business needs and concerns.”

— Congressional aide Michael Willis’ BAD JOKE OF THE WEEK: “What do you call a can opener that doesn't work? A can't opener!”

— Kirk Williams’ CORNY JOKE SUBMISSION: “Why do the LSU Tigers eat cereal straight from the box? They choke whenever they get near a bowl.”

— The Orleans Parish Republican Party Executive Committee has its Fete de Rouge scheduled for Jan. 18 at American Sector. INVITE

— Sen. Mike Walsworth thanks St. Francis Medical Center in a new video series for providing lifesaving neonatal and pediatric care in northeast Louisiana. This two-part video (PART ONE & PART TWO) focuses on the Futch and Hawthorne families and “valuable access to medical specialists.”

— PRESS RELEASE: “This month the Louisiana Municipal Advisory and Technical Services Bureau (LaMATS) marks its 20th anniversary of service to local governments. Incorporated in 1998 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Louisiana Municipal Association (LMA), LaMATS provides numerous free and low-cost benefit programs to the LMA membership, including the collection of $22.5M in insurance premium taxes on behalf of more than 200 participating municipalities.”

— Gov. John Bel Edwards to U.S. President Donald Trump: “Mr. President, for many people in my state, access to this treatment means a person could return to the workforce, return to school or simply lead a normal life.” Read the full letter.

— The governor spoke at a country music fundraiser in Baton Rouge this evening for Nick Tullier, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office Deputy who was wounded in a July 2016 ambush attack on law enforcement officers.

— The Lens is hosting an charter school-focused public records workshop on Jan. 11 at 5:30 p.m. in New Orleans.

— The Bureau of Governmental Research is accepting nominations through Jan. 16 for its 2018 Excellence in Government Awards.

— New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Orleans (France) Mayor Olivier Carré signed a “Sister City Agreement” to form projects around tourism, water management, education and the economy in both cities.

— Rep. Reid Falconer’s state Senate campaign fundraiser is Jan. 15 at 6 p.m. at Keith Young’s Steak House in Madisonville.

— January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Louisiana. Here’s Gov. John Bel Edwards’ proclamation.

— Louisiana Democrats: “Senator Kennedy Could Do Something, If He Wanted To.” READ

— Looking for a quick side hustle? New Orleans’ Department of Sanitation is looking for 150 temporary employees to do clean-up for the upcoming Mardi Gras season.

— The TOPS Task Force meets again on Jan. 11. AGENDA

— Business Facilities magazine named New Orleans’ DXC Technology’s Digital Transformation Center the nation’s No. 2 project in its 2017 Economic Development Deal of the Year competition.

— LABI’s 2018 Annual Meeting and Luncheon is Feb. 8 in Baton Rouge. Early-bird tickets are on sale until Jan. 19.

— The governor asked the Louisiana Public Service Commission in a letter to “consider reducing utility rates in light of a recent reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate.”

— The governor also penned over 50 professional licensing boards asking they make an effort to grant military spouses the ability to practice their profession in Louisiana.

— Southern University Title IV-E Director and social worker Shailindra “Lynn” Farris was appointed to the Louisiana Children’s Trust Fund Board as representative of the Louisiana Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

— First Choice Real Estate Services, LLC owner and real estate broker Dayna Yeldell was appointed to the Sabine River Authority.

— Ochsner pediatrician Alicia Kober was appointed to the Louisiana Children’s Trust Fund Board and the Fluoridation Advisory Board as the representative of the Louisiana State Medical Society.

— National Board Certified Teacher and Librarian with the Caddo Parish School Board and South Highlands Elementary Magnet School E. Sheridan Shamburg was appointed to the Louisiana Lottery Corporation as a representative of the 4th Congressional District.

— Former Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections Assistant Secretary Whalen Gibbs Jr. was appointed to the Louisiana Lottery Corporation as a representative of the 3rd Congressional District.

— Real estate agent Carmen Jones was appointed to the Louisiana Lottery Corporation as a representative of the 5th Congressional District.

— Former state Senate President and Randy Ewing, LLC owner Randy Ewing was appointed as state representative at-large for the Board of Regents.

— Warner Orthopedics and Wellness and the Healing Sole, LLC owner and orthopedic surgeon Meredith Warner was appointed to the Louisiana Physical Therapy Board.

— Baton Rouge Water Company Water Production Manager Dennis McGehee was appointed to the Capital Area Groundwater Conservation District.

— LABI, the Family Justice Center, Jefferson Business Council, the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Southeast Louisiana Women United are hosting a two-hour seminar on liability issues in the workplace today (Jan. 9) in Metairie.

— Entergy New Orleans, LLC is hosting a public meeting on its “Rooftop Solar Project" this evening at the Southern University of New Orleans Lake Campus.

— Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office deputies are getting a pay raise this year.

— New Orleans is encouraging residents to recycle their Christmas trees for coastal restoration.

— ICYMI: Ochsner and LSU have agreed on a new public private partnership in Shreveport and Monroe.

— LABI President Stephen Waguespack on New Year’s resolutions: “The President needs to resolve to chill out with his twitter feed...The media needs to resolve to call balls and strikes more fairly.”

— Waguespack again: “There is a time for politics but that time is not now. This is no time to rush into a bad decision. This is simply a time for a thoughtful public debate of the specifics within the Governor’s tax plan.”

— The governor on the decreasing unemployment rate: “There is certainly more to do, but there is also good reason to believe that Louisiana is on the verge of the type of prosperity that we have not seen in many years.”

— What the governor’s office wants you to read: “Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reforms Working in LA.”

— Yum. Della Hasselle writes for The Lens: “Coming to a raw oyster bar near you: larger, cleaner, meatier shellfish.”

— The Gambit Weekly named its New Orleanians of 2017: HousingNOLA Executive Director Andreanecia Morris and United Way of Southeast Louisiana Public Policy Chair Kim Sport.

— Online applications for the Keep Louisiana Beautiful 2018 Trash Receptacle Mini-Grant and Healthy Communities Grant open on Jan. 16.

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