Today in The Rundown: An unexpected death in Grosse Tete may end years of sparring or set off a new fight; the state Democratic Party trying to find its place in Louisiana's current political climate; LSU loosens post-death restrictions on Greek life; and everything else you need to know in Louisiana politics today.
Days until the runoff election for state treasurer: 32
Days until the 2018 regular legislative session begins: 147
Truck Stop Tiger: Tony, the Grosse Tete tiger that has been the subject of multiple lawsuits and state Legislature debates, has been euthanized. Under the 2014 state law that allowed the truck stop's owner to keep him, Tony cannot be replaced, but the owner has repeatedly expressed his desire for a successor and is already challenging the restriction in court. http://bit.ly/2igWiVw
Demos: The state Democratic Party is struggling in the South's GOP-dominated political climate, and it's unclear what its future holds in the coming years. http://bit.ly/2ijfvWR
LA Flood: After a series of skirmishes over changes to the National Flood Insurance Program, Louisiana's congressional delegation is showing a united front as negotiations heat up on Capitol Hill over a long-term reauthorization of the program. http://bit.ly/2ifWkgw
LSU: One month after a fraternity pledge's death, LSU has lifted its ban on Greek parties with alcohol. http://bit.ly/2ifNvmG
Oil & Gas Industry: A more than two-decade-old moratorium on new oil and gas drilling in Lake Pontchartrain has left pre-existing, grandfathered-in production out of sight and out of mind for residents across the region, but that changed Sunday, when an oil and gas platform near the Treasure Chest riverboat casino exploded, sending seven workers to the hospital with injuries. The latest: http://bit.ly/2ih0jJy
K-12: Rather than a one-year suspension of letter grades for the East Baton Rouge Parish School District, state officials plan to offer the district post-flood flexibility in how schools are evaluated when Louisiana's top school board meets today. http://bit.ly/2ihVvUt
Treasurer: It's Republican John Schroder vs. Democrat Derrick Edwards in the runoff race for treasurer. http://bit.ly/2iiQsCX
PSC: Not needing a runoff... Dr. Craig Greene won the race for Public Service Commissioner outright on Saturday. http://bit.ly/2ifMmf6
Puerto Rico: Louisiana's state-wide donation drive collected 100 pallets of items to send to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. http://bit.ly/2ihPtmN
TOPS: After three meetings, major questions remain on whether a legislative task force will recommend significant changes to the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students. http://bit.ly/2ieFcHL
DCFS: A 13-year-old abandoned her newborn this week at a teacher's doorstep. Meanwhile, the state social services division has launched a new online "safe haven" locator to map approved locations where people can comply with Louisiana's Safe Haven law in such situations. http://bit.ly/2igJ7E8
Happening this week
- Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs meets at 10 a.m. in the John J. Hainkel, Jr. Room at the Capitol.
- BESE committees meet beginning at 9 a.m. at the Claiborne Building in Baton Rouge.
- Riverboat Economic Development and Gaming Task Force meets at 10 a.m. in Room A-B at the Capitol.
- BESE board meets at 9 a.m. at the Claiborne Building in Baton Rouge.
- LaSTEM Advisory Council meets at10 a.m. at the Claiborne Building.
- Louisiana State Boxing and Wrestling Commission meets at 1:30 p.m. in Room 2 at the Capitol.
.@POTUS highlighted "A+" disaster response rating from ex-FEMA head James Lee Witt, who was also an adviser to Blanco on Katrina recovery.— Elizabeth Crisp (@elizabethcrisp) October 16, 2017