Today in The Rundown: The 2017 session is underway; Sales tax-extending legislation has been filed; Efforts to secure additional flood aid advances; College students serve up food and funding pleas at the Capitol; and everything else you need to know about Louisiana politics.
Days until the regular session ends: 50
Sales tax: What was intended to be a temporary 1-cent increase in the state sales tax would be extended by five more years under a proposal filed by a lawmaker close to Gov. John Bel Edwards. http://bit.ly/2pCaYR8
Flood aid: Louisiana leaders are hoping that by the end of this month, the state will have an additional $2 billion in federal aid for the state's recovery from last year's historic floods. http://bit.ly/2pCQvf7
JBE vs GG: Gov. John Bel Edwards' radio show set off another disagreement between Edwards and Congressman Garret Graves. http://bit.ly/2pCpAA8
Budget: Despite the state's fiscal woes, legislative leaders are moving ahead with a budget that would boost spending themselves and related bodies. http://bit.ly/2phRiCs
Higher ed: Hundreds of college students from across the state served lunch to Louisiana legislators Wednesday and talked about the need to fully fund higher education. http://bit.ly/2phJGj4
Education: The effort to ban dodge ball from P.E. classes has been shelved for at least two months. http://bit.ly/2phuZfZ
Letter: A state Rep. whose attempt to bar colleges from licensing beers and other alcoholic products drew backlash has responded with a scathing letter calling LSU's president the "king of LSU," questioning the university's nonpayment of student athletes and invoking the state's murder and HIV rates. Read the whole thing here: http://bit.ly/2oOuWFt
Coastal restoration: Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a declaration calling the state's coastal situation a crisis. Meanwhile, work on the long-term master plan for combating the state's land loss. http://bit.ly/2pTJSSe
State Police: Lawmakers are attempting to chip away at a nepotism law to ensure the new Louisiana State Police superintendent's son can keep his new law enforcement job. http://bit.ly/2phIgFE
Guns: Legislation is advancing that would roll back Louisiana Second Amendment Weekend Holiday exemptions. http://bit.ly/2phGRP6
Doctors delegation: A state bill tailored to exempt U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy and U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham from dual employment restrictions and allow them to work for public hospitals has been shelved amid ethics criticisms. http://bit.ly/2phLJ6X
Crime: Lawmakers engaged in a lengthy debate on a proposal meant to target gang activity on Wednesday. http://bit.ly/2phwSJB
Supporters of criminal justice reform efforts will rally at the Capitol at 10:45 a.m.
- Judiciary meets at 9 a.m. in Room 1.
- Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs meets at 9 a.m. in Room 6.
- Education meets upon adjournment in John J. Hainkel, Jr. Room.
- Natural Resources meets upon adjournment in Room A-B.
- Transportation, Highways and Public Works meets upon adjournment in Room E.
State Bond Commission meets at 8 a.m. in Room A-B.
LA flood response: Shelter at Home helped 10,307 households costing $150M. FEMA mobile homes given to 2,027 families cost $127M #lalege— Rebekah Allen (@rebekahallen) April 19, 2017
Rep. Jim Morris, R-Oil City, once considered possible author of key gasoline tax hike, not expected to file bill.#lalege— Will Sentell (@WillSentell) April 19, 2017