Today in The Rundown: Medicaid expansion enrollment kicks off; Budget advances — but with many questions; Juvenile justice bill heads to governor; toll roads could be ahead; and more.

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Days until the 2016 regular Louisiana legislative session ends: 5

Days until the second special session begins: 5

Second special session’s end: 22

The News

Medicaid expansion: Louisiana is the first state in the country to use SNAP to help sign up its new Medicaid expansion population.

Budget crunch: Gov. Edwards says that the Senate version of the budget bill heading to the floor today is better than the House version but finances remain “a bit of a mess” ahead of the second special session.

Texting & Driving: Penalties could grow for disobeying state laws that ban texting or posting to social media sites while driving and that restrict cell phone use for young drivers.

Juvenile Justice: Inmates sentenced to life in prison as juveniles could get an opportunity to receive a parole hearings under a proposal the Legislature has approved.

Med Ed: Louisiana’s deep, persistent budget troubles are endangering the future of medical training programs.

Transportation: The head of the state Department of Transportation and Development says Louisiana should consider tolls as an option to finance major road projects.

Physical therapists: Patients would have direct access to physical therapists under a bill that is heading to the governor.

See all of our coverage of the Louisiana Legislature:

Today at the Capitol

The Senate convenes at 10 a.m., and the House comes in at 1 p.m.

House Committees

  • Ways and Means meets at 9 a.m. in Room 6.
  • Education meets at 11 a.m. in Room 1.
  • House and Governmental Affairs meets at 12:30 p.m. in Room 2.
  • Senate and Governmental Affairs meets at 8 a.m. in Room F.
  • Finance meets Upon Adjournment in Room A-B.
  • 9 a.m. State of the Coast Conference at Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.
  • 10 a.m. Hurricane Preparedness and Public Safety Press Conference at the Port of New Orleans
  • 11 a.m. Medicaid Expansion Kick Off Event at University Medical Center in New Orleans.

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