Today in The Rundown: Session kicks off with Gov. John Bel Edwards' annual State of the State address; Harrah's tries again for an extension; Minimum wage debate resumes with a change; Fantasy sports debates on deck at Louisiana Legislature; and everything else you need to know in Louisiana politics today.
Days until the session must end: 59
Days until election day: 187
Minimum wage: In his latest push for a minimum wage hike in Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards is aiming a little higher -- 50 cents to be exact: http://bit.ly/2P0xBZY
Church fires: Gov. Edwards opened his speech with a nod to the "disturbing" recent fires that have struck four churches in Louisiana and the ongoing investigation into their causes. http://bit.ly/2P0jNyC
Audits: The Louisiana Tax Commission recovered $15,288 paid to its former administrator for work when he was actually playing golf, running errands, visiting a spa and lunching at Hooters, according to a state audit released Monday. http://bit.ly/2OYyT7N
LALege leadership: House Speaker Taylor Barras is presiding over the state House with his right arm in a sling after a fall from a ladder while doing yard work. http://bit.ly/2OVwdHM
Harrah's: The state's only land-based casino in New Orleans is trying again to preemptively extend its license, five years before it expires, without the state putting it out for bid. Here's why its chances look better this time: http://bit.ly/2FSXhn1
Gambling: A state lawmaker's recent disclosure that she is a gambling addict and was removed from a casino after adding herself to the state’s self-exclusion list has highlighted a program that — by design — is little known to the public. http://bit.ly/2OUhv3W
Fantasy sports: After a majority of parishes agreed to legalize fantasy sports wagering last fall, a push is mounting in the Legislature to spell out rules for the games. http://bit.ly/2OVc199
Fundraising: In the week leading up to the session's start, state lawmakers were in a frenzied push to bulk up their campaign coffers before hitting a black-out period when they are barred from raising money. http://bit.ly/2OS9ZXg
ICYMI: Some Republicans took issue with LSU coach Ed Orgeron's appearance at Gov. John Bel Edwards' recent fundraiser. http://bit.ly/2uQbSdI
At the Capitol
The House comes in at 4 p.m., and the Senate convenes at 5 p.m.
House Committee Meetings
- Appropriations meets at 9 a.m. in Room 5.
Senate Committee Meetings
- Finance meets at a.m. in Room A-B.
- Retirement meets at 9 a.m. in Room E.
- Revenue and Fiscal Affairs meets at 9 a.m. in John J. Hainkel, Jr. Room.
- Judiciary C meets at 11 a.m. in Room F.
- Health and Welfare meets at 1 p.m. in John J. Hainkel, Jr. Room.
Joint Committee Meetings
- Capital Area Road and Bridge District meets at 1 p.m. in the Claiborne Building.
A wordcloud of the most commonly used words in Gov. John Bel Edwards' speech to the Legislature at the beginning of this year's session. #lalege #lagovStory on the speech by @elizabethcrisp here: https://t.co/X6LM7snGcHRead the full speech here: https://t.co/mch1LU5rvk pic.twitter.com/Z0RGyP1k2X— Jeff Adelson (@jadelson) April 8, 2019
SPOTTED: #LSU Basketball Coach Will Wade, who is still technically on suspension, was seen eating lunch Sunday afternoon with a member of the university’s Board of Supervisors. The two dined outside of Baton Rouge, meeting at an out of the way restaurant. #LaLege— Mitch Rabalais (@MitchRabalais) April 8, 2019
What a fun idea. While I wish it included comically large checks and balloons, I still hope that we will be seeing video from this a la Publishers Clearinghouse. #lalege #lagov https://t.co/HFhmgT5ui5— Elizabeth Crisp (@elizabethcrisp) April 8, 2019
The highest of fives to the @LouisianaGov Comms Team, which has worked its collective tail off to get to the State of the State speech, in addition to all of the other things we do every day. #lalege #lagov @shaunasanford @Lauren_Leist @walkerjtyler @micahjcormier @JayceGenco pic.twitter.com/9SUwob601a— Christina Stephens 👩🏻💻+ 🐯🏀 (@CEStephens) April 8, 2019
@LouisianaGov mentioned several of the items on his 2019 agenda during State of the State. Here's the full breakdown with bills he's backing. https://t.co/vrg0NdLDnA #lalege #lagov https://t.co/jILKnjd3i4— Elizabeth Crisp (@elizabethcrisp) April 8, 2019