Political Chatter: Medicaid, McAuliffe, Gambit

— Sen. Karen Carter Peterson made it office yesterday. Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will be the keynote speaker at the 2018 True Blue Gala on Friday, May 18, in Baton Rouge. TICKETS 

— TREND WATCH: Oregon becomes second state with net neutrality law 

— Here’s the big push from Gov. John Bel Edwards today… It’s an economic impact study on the Medicaid expansion that Edwards triggered as governor and campaigned on as a candidate… From the press release: “Program’s infusion of $1.85 bill in federal funds leveraged into $3.57 billion economic activity for state.” FULL REPORT

Tomorrow is ULS Day at the Capitol

— Ed Dept.: “A record number of Louisiana public high school graduates were eligible for Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) awards in 2017, according to new data from the Louisiana Board of Regents. More than 19,200 graduates in the Class of 2017 achieved eligibility for at least one TOPS scholarship, up from 18,373 in 2016 and 16,289 in 2012. The increase in eligible students marks a gain of 18 percent since 2012. The Class of 2017 was also the first class in state history to top 50 percent of all graduates qualifying for a TOPS scholarship, with 52 percent of graduates meeting the bar.”

— Louisiana Budget Project: “SB 365 expands predatory lending… Predatory payday lending drains more than $240 million each year from Louisiana workers by saddling vulnerable borrowers with high-interest loans that they often cannot afford. But instead of working to address this problem, the Legislature is considering a bill that would make it worse.”

— “A new report from the Louisiana Budget Project shows that 193,000 Louisiana workers - nearly 1 in 10 - would get a much-needed pay raise if policymakers established a state minimum wage of $8.50 per hour.” FULL REPORT    

— Big news about news, via Louisiana Press Association: “Gambit, New Orleans' signature weekly news and entertainment paper, has been purchased by the parent company of The New Orleans Advocate. Advocate owners John and Dathel Georges purchased the weekly from Margo and Clancy DuBos, native New Orleanians who have owned Gambit since 1991. Terms were not disclosed.”

— Advocate owner John Georges: “Gambit is a perfect fit with our other media properties and performs an important role covering Louisiana’s unique mix of arts, entertainment, politics and culture. We want to keep Gambit locally owned and thriving.”

— April is National Donate Life Month. This video, produced by the Louisiana Hospital Association, features the parents of David Cologne, who reunite with the recipient of their son’s heart to encourage others to give the gift of life.

— Gov. John Bel Edwards spent this morning at the Capital Area Regional Training Academy officers graduation, followed by a press call hosted with Department of Health Secretary Rebekah Gee and LSU Professor Jim Richardson from the Public Administration Institute and the release of the “Medicaid Expansion and the Louisiana Economy” report.

— Former state trooper and retired New Orleans U.S. Customs Service investigator Scott Patrick Illing has been nominated by President Donald Trump for U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

— Bureau of Governmental Research says city council members should “regulate, not govern,” the Sewerage & Water Board: “As policymakers and the public search for solutions to direct the S&WB toward daily reliability and eventual excellence, City Council presence on the S&WB is not the answer.”

— Congressional aide Michael Willis’ BAD JOKE OF THE WEEK: “Why can't you write with a broken pencil? Because it's pointless!”

— What the governor’s team wants you to read: New Tax Policy Report: States with the highest and lowest taxes.

Julia O’Donoghue for The Times-Picayune: “Louisiana Medicaid Director Jen Steele told the state Senate Finance Committee at a budget hearing Sunday that Medicaid work requirements would likely not go into place until 2020 at the earliest. In an interview later however, Steele walked back those comments, saying there isn't much of an idea of what the timeline for such a program would be yet.”

— As seen on Twitter, via the AP’s Melinda Deslatte (@MelindaDeslatte): “Ways & Means Chairman Neil Abramson says capital outlay bill will be up for a vote in his committee on Monday.”

— State Net Capitol Journal: “Sports betting and remote sales taxes have been getting a lot of attention in statehouses recently. The main reason for the surge of interest in the two issues is a pair of cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court that could allow states to collect billions of dollars in new revenues from sports wagering and online sales.” READ

Drew Broach for The Times-Picayune: A new poll shows Louisiana residents approve of President Donald Trump more than they did four months ago, but not as highly as during his start.

The Congressional Budget Office released its budget and economic outlook yesterday: "The economy grows relatively quickly this year and next and then more slowly in the following several years. The federal budget deficit rises substantially, boosting federal debt to nearly 100 percent of GDP by 2028."

— LABI President Stephen Waguespack’s latest: “For generations, we have been told time and time again in Louisiana to just trust the process. The pitch made by a chorus of politicos and talking heads over the years is that Louisiana’s model of government is fine, it has just never gotten enough money to make it work right. That sales pitch is losing credibility by the day, spurring momentum for a Constitutional Convention across the state.”

— The local government investigative news team The Lens is celebrating its birthday on April 25 at 6 p.m. in New Orleans. Happy birthday, watchdogs!

— ICYMI: Gov. Edwards got to show off his new belt, thanks to this weekend’s Wrestlemania in New Orleans.

— LAST WEEK: A Belgium delegation visited New Orleans to celebrate the city’s tricentennial with the gift of “a large sculpture of a saxophone.” Fun fact: the sax was a nineteenth-century invention by Belgian musician Adolphe Sax.

SPONSORED: Working Together To Revive A 40-Year-Old Educational Program

Another win for Lafayette and UL Lafayette! After closing 40 years ago, UL Lafayette’s lab school is another step closer to being

WEEKLY: Senate Isn’t Only Chamber Facing Change

This story was originally published for Weekly subscribers on June 21, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite community

WEEKLY: Know Your Congressional Districts

This story was originally published for Weekly subscribers on June 21, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite community

Alford: A Memorandum From The Other Side

A MEMORANDUM FROM THE OTHER SIDE We hope this edition of The Tracker finds you rested and peaceful. If not, hurry and catch up. Because we

PolitiSigns, Adam Chapman & An Industry Update

Nothing declares election season is underway in Louisiana like campaign signs. And they're starting to sprout up everywhere, from country

Alford: Assumptions Are Dangerous In Governor’s Race

With 2018’s session-palooza out of the way (hopefully), Gov. John Bel Edwards can begin focusing on re-election. He’s not on the ballot

Q&A With Bob Livingston: “Republicans Are Going To Keep Control”

LaPolitics staff writer Mitch Rabalais: You were in the House leadership during Ken Starr’s investigation of Bill Clinton. What is your take

Rabalais: Louisiana’s First Congresswoman

On October 16, 1972, the political orbits in both Louisiana and Washington, D.C. were shocked by the sudden disappearance of then-House


— Special Assistant to the Governor Micah Cormier (@micahjcormier): “@LouisianaGov and @Coach_EdOrgeron spent the afternoon together in NOLA

Gamard: Hellish Helsinki & What Your Congressmen Said

If you need a refresher: President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met behind closed doors in Helsinki, Finland to discuss


— Tuesday 07/17: Keith Courville and Anthony Sanchez — Wednesday 07/18: Rep. Tony Bacala, Margo DuBos and John DeSantis — Thursday 07/19:

Social Media & Dan Claitor

For our season finale of Hashtag Louisiana, LaPolitics staff writer Mitch Rabalais interviews Dan Claitor, Louisiana's state

PEAS IN A POD: Pastors & Politics

Gene Mills of the Louisiana Family Forum thinks a rather holy wave may be building for the 2019 election cycle. (Not only for the House and

LOWDOWN: The Price of Politics & Politicians

   What would you do for $16,800? Would you take a stressful, full-time job for $16,800 annually? Probably not. But guess who would? If you

SPONSORED: Louisiana Primary Care Association Announces Positive Step Forward In Healthcare

The Picard Group client Louisiana Primary Care Association (LPCA) recently announced an impressive step forward for healthcare in Louisiana.

POD: Politics According to Alton

He’s a staple of Capitol life and an influencer in Louisiana politics. He's lobbyist Alton Ashy of Advanced Strategies, and he's our guest

LOWDOWN: How A Podcast Gets Made

Here at LaPolitics, we like to use our videos and podcasts to teach you something you don’t already know. So in this week’s Lowdown, we’re

Ronnie, Riverboats & Re-Election Campaigns

His father pitched for The New York Yankees before gaining his political chops in Bunkie, Louisiana, just like his son did. So who is it

SPONSORED: Celebrating 25 Years Of Burkenroad Reports

Twenty-five years ago, Professor Peter Ricchiuti founded a unique learning opportunity for Tulane University graduate students that has not


LaPolitics: That final Finance vote in HB 1 was such a break from the session rhythm. Quick, unemotional and transactional. Was that

ALFORD: The Capitol’s Dirty Little Secret

The governor of Louisiana is not politically omnipotent. (I’m referring to the storied position of governor, not the man or the woman who

RABALAIS’ POLITICAL HISTORY: John Breaux’s Last-Minute Win Over Henson Moore

U.S. Sen. Russell B. Long’s announcement that he would retire after 36 years in the upper chamber was unexpected, as he had been building

PHOTO GALLERY: The Final Four Hours Of The Special Session That Never Was


“Members, It Is 12 a.m.”

It’s called a photo finish for a reason, not that the House, Senate and Edwards Administration would need photographic evidence to help sort

VIDEO: Who’s The Man Behind The Tree?

When politicians want your money, the idea is bound to come up. "Don't tax you. Don't tax me. Tax the man behind the tree." But who is