BR.bensoncapitolflags225.032418 (copy)

Flags over the Louisiana State Capitol.

Today in The Rundown: Gov. John Bel Edwards news; the latest on impeachment, Louisiana legislative session prep, Baton Rouge mayor's race and more news from Louisiana politics. 

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The Countdown…

Days until the 2020 regular session begins: 32

Days until the Louisiana Democratic presidential primary: 63

Days until the regular session must end: 116

Days until the Presidential election and Congressional/Senate primary: 275

Days until the Congressional/Senate runoff (if needed): 303

The News

SOTU: How the Louisiana delegation responded to Trump's State of the Union Speech: http://bit.ly/2Us2V8z

ICYMI: Here's how much more Trump has raised in campaign contributions from Louisiana than all Democratic candidates. http://bit.ly/2GRE7yJ

Edwards administration: With Dr. Rebekah Gee's departure, Gov. John Bel Edwards has picked a new interim health secretary and is searching for a permanent replacement. http://bit.ly/2GYxM4F

LALege: After a bit of a delay, State House committee chairmanships have been revealed. http://bit.ly/31ujl1y

Congress: Louisiana's senators have received thousands of phone calls and emails from constituents voicing opinions on the impeachment of President Donald Trump. http://bit.ly/398iw1g

Criminal justice: Since taking office, Gov. Edwards has signed 34 commutations of sentence, allowing people convicted of serious violent crimes to be released on parole after decades behind bars. Here's how that stacks up: http://bit.ly/2SrqAn1

Death Row: Louisiana cleans its execution chamber at the state penitentiary daily, but it's been more than a decade since a condemned prisoner has laid on the chamber's black-padded gurney to die. http://bit.ly/2UsDBzd (via AP)

Senate: U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy got a shout out for his paid family leave bill during the SOTU. Trump urged Congress to pass the bipartisan measure. http://bit.ly/2v10dfI

Fact check: Details about Trump's speech: http://bit.ly/2GZQzwo

LAGOP: Louisiana Republicans want for Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, a former Republican presidential nominee, to be censured for going against Trump. http://bit.ly/31slbQw

Death penalty: What's the future of capital punishment a decade after Louisiana's last legal execution?: http://bit.ly/2GVfTUr

Cybersecurity: Gov. John Bel Edwards warns locals they are targets too: http://bit.ly/3birRVQ

Impeachment: Both of Louisiana's senators voted to acquit Trump. http://bit.ly/2vaJgzy

Romney: Upset by what's been viewed as repeated slights to Trump, at least one ranking Republican in Louisiana is calling for Romney to be censured. http://bit.ly/31slbQw

Health care: Five LSU students have the mumps, LSU has confirmed. http://bit.ly/3822m9v

Crawfish: The 2020 crawfish season is off to a strong start: http://bit.ly/2Ow9lj0

Coming up... 

At the Capitol...

  • Broadband High-Speed Internet Service Task Force meets today at 1:30 p.m. in Room A-B.
  • Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget meets Friday at 9:30 a.m. in Room 5.

Also...

  • Orlando McMeans, chancellor-dean at the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, will be the guest speaker Monday at noon at the Press Club of Baton Rouge at the Belle of Baton Rouge. $15 for members, $20 for nonmembers.

Governor's schedule

  • The National Governors' Association and Democratic Governors Association meetings are in Washington, D.C. this weekend. JBE is expected to attend some meetings and the dinner at the White House (typically followed by a gubernatorial press conference.) 

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Elizabeth Crisp is The Advocate’s Washington, D.C. correspondent and author of The Rundown.

Tips, comments or suggestions? Send your feedback to

ecrisp@theadvocate.com or @elizabethcrisp on Twitter.

Email Elizabeth Crisp at ecrisp@theadvocate.com and follow on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.