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 session-opening speech on Monday. They were joined by a pair of GOP representatives. Was it a signal that the Fourth Floor, having grown weary of the leadership's negotiating style, is carving out its own path to capture conservative votes? Or was it a planning meeting for today's Ways and Means hearing? Or did everyone involved just want a steak?

— Senate President John Alario, to The Bayou Brief's Sue Lincoln: “I’m not sure there will be a long-term resolution like there ought to be. We have to wait on the House.”

— Rep. Ted James: "I have zero confidence in us passing anything of substance."

— Politicos don't call the House Ways and Means Committee the "Ways To Be Mean Committee" for nothing. Members convened this morning to review some of the key tax topics for the special session, but didn't take any important votes. The committee, however, did tip its collective hat. For the most part there was considerable pushback on many of the tax bills discussed today, particularly from conservatives. "I hope we can find some common ground," said Rep. Kenny Havard.

— Among the key tax bills to watch (for now) is HB 23 Rep. Stephen Dwight, which, as introduced, would create a state sales tax structure of 4.5 percent in the new fiscal year. Dwight, though, intends to amend his bill to bring that rate down to 4.25 percent and make it permanent.

— The Ways and Means Committee is expected to meet again tomorrow morning, at which time bills will be brought back up for votes. What actually gets passed depends on who you ask. One longtime lobbyist said the train could get off the tracks very quickly. Another suggested this evening that key committee members already have a plan for sending certain instruments to the floor.

— If Ways To Be Mean does produce votes tomorrow morning, those bills could be heard on the House floor as soon as Friday.

— Chatter is getting louder about lawmakers wrapping this special session up sooner than later, as in before the full 17-day timeline has concluded.

— The House Health and Welfare Committee has moved its hearing on Medicaid work requirements and copay from tomorrow to Thursday. Why? @MelindaDeslatte offered up this Twitter analysis: "Still vote-counting, maybe?"

— Speaker Taylor Barras' constitutional amendment for a state spending cap and his bill to create Louisiana Checkbook both cleared the Appropriations Committee today.

JBE’S SESSION SPEECH, BY THE NUMBERS
(AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY)

— Total word count: 3,318

— Number of times the word “tax” was spoken: 3

— Number of times the word “cliff” was spoken: 13

— Number of times the word “TOPS” was spoken: 7

CAPITOL GAINS: Does Louisiana need a lieutenant governor?

You’ve really need to watch this interview. From being mistaken for Coach O and fielding attacks from fellow Republicans, to why John

SPONSORED: The Picard Group

A Rare WEDNESDAY Tracker!

Five questions for JBJ at 86, a giveaway contest, forgotten history, AG versus JBE, more "Chatter" and some rather important birthdays (no

SPONSORED: Successful LegisGator Event Honors Lawmakers

On August 24, more than 800 legislators, business leaders, supporters, lobbyists, and others involved in the political realm gathered at

SWAMPERS & SWORDS: Alford’s late summer’s ode to Louisiana’s cities, towns, & villages

SWAMPERS & SWORDS Alford’s late summer’s ode to Louisiana's cities, towns, & villages IF YOU’RE GOING TO DIVE into a review

Rabalais’ Political History: Wade O. Martin & the creation of the modern SOS office

In 1956, an epic power struggle between two political giants forever changed the scope of statewide elected offices in Louisiana. The

ALFORD: You Want Mayors? We’ve Got Mayors!

ALFORD’S SYNDICATED OPINION COLUMN You Want Mayors? We've Got Mayors! Fake mayors, real mayors, convicted mayors, interim mayors,

POLITICAL CHATTER

The Louisiana Lottery is about to have some competition. The Mississippi Legislature voted this afternoon to create a lottery there. Gov.

#HBD TRACKERS!

Today: Cary Koch, Craig McCulloch and Tammi Arender Wednesday 08/29: Quay McKnight, Kevin Blanchard and Paul Coussan Thursday

Gamard: PAC Shoots With “Shooter”

Rep. Blake Miguez — if you’re unfamiliar with his gun-fueled background, hit up Google now — is the featured political player in a new

WEEKLY: Players Who Could Be Mayors

This story was originally published for Weekly subscribers on August 16, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite

WATCH THE WHIP: Is Scalise the preferred speaker candidate?

This story was originally published for Weekly subscribers on August 16, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite

YOU’VE BEEN GRADED: LABI Releases 20th Scorecard

YOU’VE BEEN GRADED LABI releases 20th scorecard Much more than fiscal cliff was reviewed Marketing campaign linked to con-con

ALFORD’S OPINION COLUMN: Dismissing Congressional Clout Concerns

Not too long ago, at least in reporter years, I was utilizing the space in this weekly column with some regularity to write about the loss

RABALAIS’ POLITICAL HISTORY: When Time Is On Your Side

RABALAIS’ POLITICAL HISTORY When Time Is On Your Side Uncle Harry’s 32-year streak & the longevity of statewide elected

POLITICAL CHATTER

— Meg Casper, everyone's favorite secretary of state communications pro, has a new gig over at the Board of Regents. The turf isn't new for

TRACKER EXCLUSIVE ENGAGEMENT ANNOUNCEMENT

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Raymond O’Donnell of Fort Worth, Texas are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter Camille Nicole

#HBD TRACKERS!

— Tuesday 08/21: Terrebone Parish Councilwoman Arlanda Williams, Bryan Houston, Rob Landry, Nicholas Bouterie, Maris LeBlanc and Chelsea

SPONSORED: An Update on Louisiana’s Fight Against Human Trafficking

United Way of Acadiana’s Women United group held a powerful session on Aug. 13 for their Food for Thought Series: An Update on Louisiana’s

WEEKLY: An Unusual Race In HD90

This story was originally published for Weekly subscribers on August 9, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite

THE POLITICAL ABC’s (Alario, Barras & Comedy): Seven answers & one joke each, directly from the gavel masters

It has been nearly three months since the finale of 2018’s edition of session-palooza. That’s plenty of time for House Speaker Taylor Barras

ALFORD’S OPINION COLUMN: An Official Con-Con Reminder

It has been three months since the Louisiana Legislature concluded its regular session without addressing the war cry for a constitutional

RABALAIS’ POLITICAL HISTORY: The Bossier Rep Who Stuck With Nixon Until The Bitter End

On the morning of Aug. 9, 1974, Richard Nixon climbed onto the presidential helicopter, waved goodbye and flew away from the White House

POLITICAL CHATTER

— The Republican Women of Bossier, Women’s Republican Club of Shreveport, Caddo Parish Republican Party and Bossier Parish Republican

#HBD TRACKERS!

#HBD TRACKERS! — Tuesday 08/14: Rep. Dustin Miller, Winston DeCuir Jr. and Phillip Joffrion — Wednesday 08/15: Patrick Gleason, Karen