abortion protest

Abortion rights advocates protested in the Memorial Hall at the State Capitol Wednesday, May 15, 2019. The Legislature took up several anti-abortion bills.

Today in The Rundown: Wendy Vitter's judicial nomination set for a vote; Louisiana has a role in national abortion debate; St. George tensions flair; and everything else you need to know in Louisiana politics today.

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The Countdown…

Days until the session must end: 21

Days until election day: 147

The News

SCOOP: On the heels of this week's news that Louisiana is yet again at the bottom of U.S. News & World Report's "Best States" rankings, the Republican Governors Association has launched a new ad laying the blame at the feet of Gov. John Bel Edwards. http://bit.ly/2JHitzN

ICYMI: Edwards' administration says the "Best States" ranking is flawed and not tied to his leadership. Areas that he's focused on, including fiscal stability and health care, saw modest increases in this year's ranking compared to last year's. http://bit.ly/2JDRZPC

Abortion: With anti-abortion legislation gaining attention across the country, the Louisiana Legislature continues to pursue further restrictions to keep the state in line with the nation's strictest regulations. http://bit.ly/2JKfPcv

Congress: More than a year after President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Wendy Vitter to a lifetime appointment on the federal bench, the U.S. Senate appears poised to take a final vote today. http://bit.ly/2JkU8jZ

Misconduct: During a hearing at the State Capitol on Wednesday, senators condemned the Louisiana Physical Therapy Board' handling of sexual assault allegations against therapists. http://bit.ly/2JIQS1h

Ethics: Nearly a decade after the state Legislature, guided by then-Gov. Bobby Jindal, approved what was touted as the "gold standard" in ethics reform, gaps remain. http://bit.ly/2JGqxAV

St. George: Long-simmering tensions over a proposed new city in East Baton Rouge Parish boiled over into the state Senate Wednesday, with the Louisiana Democratic Party chair decrying “racial implications” behind the effort. http://bit.ly/2JItOzE

Happening today

At the Capitol

  • House comes in at 2 p.m. and the Senate convenes at 9 a.m.
  • State Bond Commission meets at 8 a.m. in Room A-B.
  • Louisiana Sales and Use Tax Commission for Remote Sellers meets at 11 a.m. in the LaSalle Building.

House Committees

  • Labor and Industrial Relations meets at 9 a.m. in Room 5.
  • Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs meets at 9 a.m. in Room 6.
  • Judiciary meets at 9:30 a.m. in Room 1.
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Rural Development meets at 10 a.m. in Room 3.

Senate Committees

  • Finance meets at 1 p.m. in Room A-B.
  • Local and Municipal Affairs meets upon adjournment in Room F.
  • Natural Resources meets upon adjournment in Room A-B.
  • Transportation, Highways and Public Works meets upon adjournment in Room E.

Governor's schedule

  • 3 p.m. Gov. John Bel Edwards has his regular media availability in the State Capitol press room.

Happening in Washington, D.C.

  • At 8:30 a.m. (central) U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy will join a bipartisan group of lawmakers in announcing plans for addressing "surprise medical bills." (Watch online: http://bit.ly/2JGFAdW
  • At around 11 a.m. (central), the U.S. Senate is set to vote on the confirmation of Wendy Vitter's nomination to a New Orleans-based district court vacancy. (Watch online: http://bit.ly/USSenFloor)

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Elizabeth Crisp is The Advocate’s Washington, D.C. correspondent

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ecrisp@theadvocate.com or @elizabethcrisp on Twitter.

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