Today in The Rundown: Lawmakers move one step closer to a budget deal; 2 from Louisiana's Congressional delegation end train crash with no injuries; the PSC hits a partisan block; recapping the State of the Union's many Louisiana connections; and everything else you need to know in Louisiana politics

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Countdown…

Days until the 2018 regular legislative session begins: 39

The News

Budget: House Republicans released their wish list of spending reform measures that they want in exchange for backing revenue. http://bit.ly/2Fx2uPp

Congress: Two members of Louisiana's delegation, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy and Congressman Garret Graves, were among the dozens of Republicans aboard a chartered train en route to a GOP retreat when it struck a garbage truck on Wednesday. http://bit.ly/2E5IAhB

Transportation: Gov. John Bel Edwards' $600 million plan, which includes the widening of I-10 in Baton Rouge, has cleared its first hurdle. http://bit.ly/2DRoRTn

TOPS: The TOPS task force is possibly approaching a final slate of recommendations. http://bit.ly/2E0BYBc

Public Service Commission: An effort to ensure Democrats have a chance, from time to time, to chair the state’s regulatory board, which is majority Republican, was shot down Wednesday on a party-line vote. http://bit.ly/2DQ1pBP

New Orleans: Workers took to the streets to protest recent actions taken against strip clubs and shouted over officials who had planned to reassure tourists that Bourbon Street would soon be back to normal. http://bit.ly/2E1xjib

Crime: A blue ribbon panel of lawyers and judges has recommended that Louisiana should group crimes of similar severity in categories that makes some sentences longer, some shorter. http://bit.ly/2nsmhci

Acadiana: Taking a taking regional approach to flood control funding, leaders this week rated proposed improvement projects. See the full priority schedule here: http://bit.ly/2E67Rbw

Immigration: Hesitation among several of Louisiana's Republicans and sharp criticism from the state's lone Democrat in Congress reflect a deep divide in Washington over efforts to overhaul the country's immigration system. http://bit.ly/2nxscfw

SOTU: Louisiana took on a prominent role during President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address, with special recognition for the Cajun Navy, U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and a New Orleans-based Coast Guard member receiving the president's praise in particular. http://bit.ly/2DPUOf3

Mike Johnson: The representative from Louisiana's 4th Congressional district turned 46 on the day of the State of the Union address and got a special 'happy birthday' for it. http://bit.ly/2DSOwek

Opioids: Overdose deaths in East Baton Rouge Parish increased in 2017 by 25 percent compared to the previous year, a harrowing upward trend that officials have linked to the growing prevalence of and addiction to opioid drugs. http://bit.ly/2FuQSwu

Happening this week

Today

  • Comite River Diversion Canal Project Task Force meets at 10 a.m. in Room 6.
  • Louisiana Historical Archives Task Force meets at 1 p.m. in Room A-B.

Friday

  • LSU Board of Supervisors meets at 10 a.m. at the administration building on the Baton Rouge campus. (Agenda here)

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