Today in The Rundown: Lawmakers brawl at the bar as session winds down; construction budget advances; Harrah's deal moves forward; bills on hazing, abortion and school prayer close to becoming law; and more news in Louisiana politics today.
Days until the ~targeted~ end to the regular session: 1
Days until the special session begins: 5
Days until the 2018 special session must end: 18
Casinos: The bill to extend the contract for Harrah's New Orleans passed a critical step on Wednesday. http://bit.ly/2rN54g5
Capitol relations: Two state lawmakers got into a fist fight in a downtown Baton Rouge bar just before 1 a.m. Wednesday, both admitted hours later in their respective chambers, apologizing to other members, their constituents and each other. http://bit.ly/2L4f78k
Capital outlay: Louisiana senators have advanced legislation that outlines the state's priority construction projects for the fiscal year beginning July 1. http://bit.ly/2wK5DMt
Voting rights: Louisiana is one step closer to restoring voting rights to thousands of people convicted of felonies who are on probation or parole, after a years-long effort at the State Capitol got a jolt of momentum last week. http://bit.ly/2wNLWDp
Hazing: Louisiana will likely soon have harsher criminal penalties for those convicted of hazing, following last fall's death of an LSU freshman fraternity pledge. http://bit.ly/2wT2om6
Abortion: A proposed 15-week ban on abortion in Louisiana is heading to Gov. John Bel Edwards, who says he's "inclined" to sign the bill. http://bit.ly/2k1KnIM
Granny cam bill: Family members or friends will be able to keep an eye on their loved ones who live in nursing homes by watching them on surveillance cameras, under a new law that is nearing final passage in the Louisiana Legislature. http://bit.ly/2GpCNAo
Schools: Legislation to allow teachers to take part in school prayer is nearing final passage. http://bit.ly/2GpBQrO
Environment: Scientists, engineers and policymakers gathered in Baton Rouge this week for the inaugural Ten Across – or 10X – Conference to talk about water issues that affect their communities. http://bit.ly/2k2BApX
Flood recovery: Flood-affected homeowners are being urged to apply for the Restore Louisiana program ahead of a July 20 deadline. http://bit.ly/2IQiCkJ
Elections: Republican Rep. Julie Stokes, who dropped a bid for treasurer last year after she was diagnosed with cancer, has entered the race for Secretary of State. http://bit.ly/2rMossF
Congress: After weighing the decision for months, Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy joined U.S. Senate Democrats in passing a measure Wednesday to restore Obama-era “net neutrality” internet rules. http://bit.ly/2rO1zoK
- State Bond Commission meets at 8 a.m. in Room A-B.
- Education meets at noon in Room 1.
- Senate and Governmental Affairs meets upon Senate recess in Room F.
- Gov. John Bel Edwards will speak at the Infrastructure Week Southeastern Summit at 10 a.m. at the Port Authority Auditorium in New Orleans.
.@LouisianaGov says at least one Republican has informally tried to convert him via phone call, but "nothing serious." He has no plans to flip parties: "I am a Democrat, I ran and was elected as a Democrat and I'm going to remain a Democrat." #lalege #lagov— Elizabeth Crisp (@elizabethcrisp) May 16, 2018
Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee joined the Louisiana Primary Care Association today to share an update from the Louisiana Department of Health. pic.twitter.com/eEalY49F0G— LA Dept of Health (@LADeptHealth) May 16, 2018
.@LouisianaGov, still avoiding the V-word (veto), says if HB1 makes to his desk "I will take action as necessary to make sure HB1 as currently drafted doesn't control our appropriations in the coming year." #lalege #lagov— Elizabeth Crisp (@elizabethcrisp) May 16, 2018