Today in The Rundown: Gov. Edwards has named a new Health secretary; the BP oil spill may have been even worse than thought; educators ask the Louisiana Legislature to consider funds for student mental health; and everything else you need to know in Louisiana politics today.
Days until the 2020 regular session begins: 25
Days until the Louisiana Democratic presidential primary: 56
Days until the regular session must end: 109
Days until the Presidential election and Congressional/Senate primary: 268
Days until the Congressional/Senate runoff (if needed): 296
Health care: Courtney Phillips, who had roles in the Blanco and Jindal administrations before becoming Texas' top health official, is returning to Louisiana to replace Dr. Rebekah Gee as Health secretary in the Edwards administration. http://bit.ly/2ULZVUB
LAGOP: Add the Louisiana GOP to the growing chorus of loyal Trump supporters who have taken aim at U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney in recent days over his chilly relationship with the Republican president: The Louisiana Republican State Central Committee unanimously agreed by voice vote to censure the Utah senator on Saturday. http://bit.ly/39C7a5Z
GOP: A lot of current and former political leaders from across south Louisiana gathered this week to remember former St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister as a tenacious, caring advocate for her parish and, in the words of U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, "the original steel magnolia." http://bit.ly/2Hh4n5J
Environment: Oil from the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster may have spread much farther than initially thought, possibly reaching as far as Texas and the Florida Keys, a new study suggests. http://bit.ly/2SE9MZX
LALege: Louisiana's top legislative leaders told business leaders they want to tilt the state’s legal system in favor of businesses by restricting liability lawsuits, but they also want to work with Gov. John Bel Edwards to avoid his veto pen. http://bit.ly/31RloNi
State budget: Teachers are surprised, disappointed and a little irate that Gov. John Bel Edwards omitted a state pay raise for educators in his $32 billion spending plan for the budget that begins July 1. http://bit.ly/2SSXkpB
2020 Dems: More than a dozen members of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus are backing former Vice President Joe Biden's presidential campaign. http://bit.ly/31IFDwD
Clergy abuse: The Saints and the Archdiocese of New Orleans are opposing a court motion for the city’s daily newspaper and its three major television stations to be allowed access to a hearing next week about whether emails between the archdiocese and executives of the NFL team should remain under seal. http://bit.ly/2SDrMDO
Related: Saints owner Gayle Benson’s sudden and forceful statement Monday that none of her donations to New Orleans’ archdiocese had financed clergy abuse settlements came just days after attorneys for an alleged victim subpoenaed financial records from her charitable foundation. http://bit.ly/2OPuGEt
Waterways: The Army Corps of Engineers will spend $85.35 million this year to begin deepening parts of the Mississippi River navigation channel between Baton Rouge and the river's mouth to 50 feet, 5 feet deeper than at present. President Trump's 2021 budget proposal would add even more money for the river but it doesn't include funding for other projects. http://bit.ly/3buCXHx
Campaign finance: Here's where members of the Louisiana delegation stand at the end of 2019. http://bit.ly/38pdy07
JBE: Gov. John Bel Edwards met with President Donald Trump at the White House this week. Details: http://bit.ly/2OHEY9C
Education: As the Legislature prepares to convene next month, Orleans Parish school officials want lawmakers to focus on students in need of mental health services because of exposure to trauma. http://bit.ly/39tqD8x
Wildlife: A U.S. district judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2016 decision to remove the Louisiana black bear from the federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife. http://bit.ly/2UKB8QK
Impeachment: Three Louisiana Republicans were among those who Trump praised at the White House during celebratory address after his impeachment acquittal. http://bit.ly/2H1jzE1
New Orleans: In the wake of public calls for more accountability in light of the Hard Rock Hotel's deadly collapse, New Orleans City Council members are considering fining city contractors who violate local, state and federal laws concerning workers' safety and wages. http://bit.ly/3byFh0h
Air quality: St. John residents are upset over the EPA's plans to change air monitoring around the Denka Performance Elastomer plant. http://bit.ly/38pzyYB
Jefferson Parish: A sweeping reorganization plan that would close four schools in Jefferson Parish is drawing opposition in Westwego and Kenner, where some parents and public officials say the move would erase important cultural landmarks and hurt children's education. http://bit.ly/2OPG17E
- LaSTEM Advisory Council meets at 10 a.m. today at the Claiborne Building.
- Louisiana Sales and Use Tax Commission for Remote Sellers meets at 11 a.m. today at the LaSalle Building.
- At 10 a.m. Gov. John Bel Edwards will deliver remarks at Clara's Little Lambs Early Learning Center in New Orleans in recognition of Louisiana Early Childhood Education Week.
The #Mississippi River delta looking like somebody spilled their watercolors. That’s #NewOrleans nestled up on Lake Pontchartrain to the right of center, and #BatonRouge up above the lake. #Louisiana #EarthArt pic.twitter.com/rRuMhvgftX— Jessica Meir (@Astro_Jessica) February 11, 2020
Building coalitions across state, party & industry lines re the Pearl that knows no lines. Aggressive schedule w/USACE Asst Sec at Pentagon ✅ & all MS/LA US Senators & Reps on the Hill. ✅ Monticello Mayor Watts, GP, IP, Healthy Gulf...I believe we got our point across. #lalege pic.twitter.com/GJAKQqtHPJ— Malinda B White (@MalindaBWhite) February 12, 2020
Senate has spent the afternoon/evening with many members taking to the floor to explain why they are either for or against the war powers resolution. @BillCassidy and @SenJohnKennedy are among those who have not. Vote is tomorrow. #lasen #lagov https://t.co/2dRjYJ4ctj— Elizabeth Crisp (@elizabethcrisp) February 13, 2020
Tomorrow: @MikeBloomberg's campaign will hold grand opening event for THIRD of FIVE Louisiana offices. By far the largest 2020 Dem physical presence in state. Office is located on Jefferson Highway (in same building as/down the hall from @LABudgetProject office). #lalege #lagov— Elizabeth Crisp (@elizabethcrisp) February 12, 2020
With Iowa and New Hampshire over, @LaDemos are promoting the April 4 primary in Louisiana. https://t.co/h4ABk53MQC Here's how it will go. Dem candidate field is down to 8 -- as of today -- with South Carolina and Nevada later this month. #lalege #lagov pic.twitter.com/r3LANzZJQo— Elizabeth Crisp (@elizabethcrisp) February 12, 2020
If you’d told me two years ago a former mayor to be in the top tier of Dem candidate field I would not have been the least surprised. But I would’ve also assumed that mayor was @MitchLandrieu.— jelani cobb (@jelani9) February 12, 2020
House subcommittee is holding a hearing this morning on bill that would codify Roe and prevent abortion restrictions (ahead of Louisiana SCOTUS case next month). @RepRichmond is one of bill's sponsors. Text: https://t.co/TvktdZYzGWWatch online: https://t.co/Nmt9wURJiv #lalege— Elizabeth Crisp (@elizabethcrisp) February 12, 2020
#WaybackWednesday: View a 1990 @lpborg story on the history of African Americans in #Louisiana #politics from PBS Pinchback & Oscar James Dunn to Dutch Morial - https://t.co/SLclBDr4Hc #BlackHistoryMonth #BHM #lagov #lalege pic.twitter.com/d5A9iPu4Hy— LDMA (@LDMArchive) February 12, 2020
What a great night in Lafayette with our alumni, civic and business leaders, and regional lawmakers discussing the upcoming year at LSU and our priorities heading into session. We look forward to a bright future in the region. pic.twitter.com/fdmHfXepru— Tom Galligan (@LSUpresident) February 12, 2020
The Legislative Fiscal Office has some really interesting research about the size of LA state government compared to other states. Spoiler alert: it's smaller. #lalege #lagov https://t.co/P151TF1Wff pic.twitter.com/yFHgu5SQBQ— Jan Moller (@jmollerLBP) February 12, 2020
Just received word that yet another Louisiana municipality has filed suit against a public records requestor solely for making a request. One of these days I hope #lalege outlaws these tactics. #foia #publicrecords— Scott Sternberg (@ScottLSternberg) February 11, 2020
The Senate confirmed Alabama Solicitor Gen. Andrew Brasher to a Circuit Court of Appeals post this afternoon. In @RepublicanAGs news release celebrating Brasher's new role, @AGJeffLandry offers this comment on the current state of politics. #lalege #lagov pic.twitter.com/wdmHHdYiCb— Elizabeth Crisp (@elizabethcrisp) February 11, 2020
Elizabeth Crisp is The Advocate’s Washington, D.C. correspondent and author of The Rundown.
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