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Sitting in front of the State Capitol Building a flamingo float hood ornament awaits the start of the Spanish Town Mardi Gras parade Saturday Feb. 10, 2018, in Baton Rouge, La.

ADVOCATE STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

Today in The Rundown: Welcome to a special Mardi Gras edition of The Rundown, featuring updates on Gov. John Bel Edwards' trip to DC to talk infrastructure; ongoing state budget negotiations and everything else you need to know in Louisiana politics today.

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Countdown…

Days until the special session starts: 6

Days until the special session must end: 22

Days until the 2018 regular legislative session begins: 27

The News

Transportation: Gov. John Bel Edwards was among eight governors, and a few dozen or so state legislators and mayors, who met with President Donald Trump on Monday to talk infrastructure priorities. http://bit.ly/2o3j6r8

ICYMI: This time next week, the Louisiana Legislature will be in a special session. Here are the details: http://bit.ly/2ESwcj3

Higher ed: Three cash-strapped historically black universities in New Orleans will see roughly $330 million in post-Katrina debt they owe to the federal government wiped away thanks to a bipartisan congressional budget deal that President Donald Trump signed last week. http://bit.ly/2EY0z7y

LaDemos: The state Democratic Party will not have its largest annual fundraiser in New Orleans during hurricane season this year, after back-to-back years of weather-forced rescheduling. http://bit.ly/2C5ugAD

Fund sweeps: Now that a judge has ruled the Louisiana Legislature shouldn’t have taken dollars from dedicated funds to help balance the budget, state regulators want the money back. http://bit.ly/2o0ahOG

Medicaid: Louisiana is moving toward becoming one of the nest states to require some Medicaid recipients to work to keep their health care benefits. http://bit.ly/2EY1wg8

Louisiana Checkbook: The push for an Ohio Checkbook-like budget transparency website in Louisiana continues to grow. http://bit.ly/2o1lcYt

Coastal restoration: Federal funding for Louisiana's coastal restoration efforts was spared from cuts in the Trump administration's budget proposal, despite calls for deep cuts to other domestic programs. http://bit.ly/2o1I1LO

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