Threats & Consequences

This week's edition of The Tracker comes to you the day after the annual Taste of The Senate event. It was held, as always, across the street from the Capitol at the Louisiana State Museum.

While senators and food were the featured attractions, there were a lot of eyes on a large ice sculpture of the Capitol as well. People just stood of stood there and watched it melt. You know, kind of like what’s happening right now in the actual Capitol, which has more than a few occupants seemingly made of ice.

What else is heating up and melting? Here are two things of note…

1.) A HEALTH CARE THREAT

Lafayette General Health System’s president sent a letter to Gov. John Bel Edwards this morning stating it has asserted a “termination for convenience” of the cooperative endeavor agreement between it, other health care companies and the state. Why? Because there’s no guarantee of full funding next fiscal year for University Hospitals and Clinics (UHC) in Lafayette. If lawmakers do appropriate full funding by the end of a second special session, Lafayette General will “rescind its notice,” wrote President David L. Callecod. THE LETTER

— IS IT REAL?: A politico close to the UHC dustup said this morning, “It ain’t no bluff. They’re already working on a timeline to implement it and turn the lights out by June 30. But they’re gonna keep that canned up until they can see what happens in the special session. I suspect there will be other notices forthcoming in next three to four weeks.”

2.) A “HEAVY SIX FIGURE” THREAT

Truth in Politics (TIP) today launched an “eight-week multi-market media campaign highlighting Louisiana’s recent drops in several national rankings and how Gov. John Bel Edwards’ failed policies and lack of leadership have contributed to the declines.” The new 30-second spot has a talking baby in it, and a brief comment about a dirty diaper. THE BABY SPOT

— IS IT REAL?: After rolling out its aim last year (that would be JBE) TIP is taking another swing with what is said to be a “heavy six figure” statewide TV and digital buy.

— THE RESPONSE: Richard Carbo, the governor’s deputy chief of staff, said, “Truth in Politics is a partisan attack group that’s funded solely by one of Bobby Jindal’s largest campaign contributors. The ironic thing is that the report they cite uses outdated statistics from Gov. Jindal’s time in office, not the current administration. The reality is that unemployment is at a 10-year low, new business opportunities are popping up every day, including the largest economic development deal in the state’s history, and just today, a new economic report is out showing that wages in Louisiana grew among the fastest in the nation in 2017. As much as partisan groups like this try to deny it, Louisiana is on a path to a much more prosperous future and that’s because this governor has kept his word to put Louisiana first.”

SOME CAPITOL NEWS TO KNOW

The Advocate: The state House GOP delegation has started an aggressive campaign strategy to share its message

AP: Bid to delay Louisiana's 'Raise the Age' law faces pushback

Houma Courier: Louisiana’s strict licensing standards targeted

Monroe News-Star: Underage booze bill dries up in the Louisiana Senate

WRKF: John Bel Edwards' Agenda Faces Obstacles In Legislature

Times-Pic: Louisiana House passes bill to expand use of state prisoner labor

The Advocate: New audit shows how much Louisiana's boards, commissions spent on travel, salaries in 2017 

WWL: Should sports gambling be legal?

AP: Louisiana's failed special session on taxes cost state $643K

Bayou Brief: Huey P. Long wasn’t assassinated

American Press: Jim Beam’s 50 Years At The Louisiana Legislature

Hayride: THE FIX IS IN: Are JBE And Republican “Moderates” Conspiring To Defund TOPS In The Regular Session?

— @KevinWAFB: “Days after the AG decided not to pursue charges against officers in #AltonSterling shooting, Rep. Denise Marcelle is introducing legislation requiring all officer-involved shootings be sent to a Grand Jury”

The Times-Pic: Louisiana proposal to raise age for assault gun purchase to 21 passes Senate committee

The Advocate: New Orleans lawmaker Tom Casey remembered as a gentleman who could get legislation passed

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