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.

The House Versus the Senate

“Every year we send a lean thoroughbred race horse to the Senate in the form of a budget, and they send back a dairy cow. Full of milk and a

Stuff Jeremy Didn’t Know Yesterday Morning…

Between a book project on the 1973 constitutional convention, a series of history segments produced by LaPolitics, committee meetings and

Rabalais’ Political History: Mayor Maestri’s Lunch With Franklin Roosevelt

While this week marks the 300th anniversary of the founding of New Orleans, it is also the annual commemoration of a less heralded event in

Alford’s Opinion Column: At Sixes & Sevens

Here it comes — the Legislature’s sixth special session since being sworn in 29 months ago. And you know what? Don’t bet against a seventh

Political Chatter: Macron, Mulvaney & Girl Scouts

— Gov. John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards are in Washington, D.C. That’s our governor in the picture above, standing on the

Gamard’s Beltway Beat: French Folks, Beltway Cajuns & Pompeo

French Folks, Beltway Cajuns & Pompeo The governor isn’t the only one getting face-time with French President Emmanuel Macron tonight.


— Tuesday 04/24: Rep. Malinda Brumfield-White, Ian Paul Auzenne and Darren Gauthier — Wednesday 04/25: Sen. Neil Riser, Miss Eva Kemp,

#LA: Data Security and Craft Brewing with Cary Koch

  Episode 4 of the Hashtag Louisiana podcast has it all - geniuses, politicians, lobbyists and all us regular folks trying to keep our

WEEKLY: They Said It

“If we as legislators ever had a place to print money, it’s in capital outlay.” —Ways and Means Vice Chair Jim Morris, in The Advocate  

WEEKLY: Constitutional Coalition Has Partners

It was reported in the March 22 issue of LaPolitics Weekly that businessman and donor Lane Grigsby was forming Constitutional Coalition 2020

WEEKLY: Constitutional Convention Poll & CABL

The LaPolitics office at the Capitol received an unidentified robo poll that focused largely on the need to hold a constitutional convention

LOWDOWN: Julie Emerson On The Meaning Of Place

This episode of The LaPolitics Lowdown continues with a four-part series we produced with Covalent Logic and the Public Affairs Research

SPONSORED: Festival International 2018 Is Here

  Next week is the start of the largest international music and arts festival in the United States: Festival


— Tuesday 04/17: Shelly Dupre — Wednesday 04/18: Rep. Sam Jones, Rep. Jerome “Nature Boy” Zeringue, former Rep. Roy Burrell, Carl Redman

GAMARD’S BELTWAY BEAT: From Raids & Airstrikes To Sanctions & ‘Slimeballs’

Former FBI Director James Comey’s reemergence may accrue the same headline-making exposure he achieved last summer. This time around he’s


— Constitutional Coalition 2020 has a website. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND INFO — Former Chesapeake executive Paul Pratt has launched a new

ALFORD’S OPINION COLUMN: Cracking The Congressional Code

Louisiana voters will send six representatives to Congress during the November general elections and, if needed, the December runoffs. Those

RABALAIS’ POLITICAL HISTORY: Steve, JBJ & The Lanes To Leadership

Long before U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was thrust into the developing race for speaker, and prior to subsequently endorsing his

PLACE YOUR BETS! Handicapping HB 1 & Adjournment

Running The Numbers Since this regular session feels like a gamble anyway, and since there has been an avalanche of gaming bills

They Said It: Lucky Dogs & Ric Flair

"Do you make Lucky Dogs out of swine?" —Rep. Greg Cromer, to Rep. Kirk Talbot, who co-owns the company with his family and who was

WEEKLY: GOP Chair Targets Agency Heads

The last bill that House GOP Delegation Chair Lance Harris filed for the regular session seeks to add "new layers of transparency" to the

WEEKLY: Higgins Has Money, And A Posse

Congressman Clay Higgins has more than $211,000 in his campaign kitty after the first quarter of 2018, during which he collected $217,000 in

LOWDOWN: Ted James On Failure, Assumptions & Compassion

This episode of The LaPolitics Lowdown kicks off a four-part series we produced with Covalent Logic and the Public Affairs Research

SPONSORED: Building Homes And Providing Hope

  On Thursday, April 26, the annual Village of Hope Gala will to be held at Le Pavillon in Lafayette and includes a four-course

Election Trend: Voters Hate Tax Referendums  

Many political observers were surprised to see the defeat of several routine tax measures on the March 24 ballots, leaving some to wonder if