Early voting, which ends Saturday, and absentee participation, which will run a bit longer, are underway for Louisiana’s gubernatorial primary election cycle.
Enthusiasm for the ballot ebbs and flows depending on the region of the state. Joel Watson, the deputy secretary of state for outreach, said the top performing parishes, through the first two days of early voting, which commended Saturday, were:
1.) East Baton Rouge: 11,753 voters
2.) Jefferson: 8,696 voters
3.) St. Tammany: 8,309 voters
4.) Orleans: 5,857 voters
5.) Lafayette: 5,568 voters
Dr. Edward Chervenak, director of the Survey Research Center at the University of New Orleans, noted similar engagement on day one of early voting as compared to the cycle hosting the last race for governor.
The first day of early voting on Saturday saw 81,538 ballots cast. That’s 4,479 more than were cast on the first day of early voting four years ago.
"There were 8,290 more registered voters in the state compared to four years ago, so the rate of early voter turnout for the first day in 2023 was really no different from the first day in 2019," Chervenak said.
John Couvillon of JMC Analytics and Polling said Monday, the second day of early voting, included a "turn to the right."
In total, 118,194 people voted early, Couvillon reported. That vote was 72 percent/25.5 percent White/Black and 43.5 percent/42 percent Republican/Democrat.
In the 2019 primary, Couvillon said day two numbers had 122,148 people voting early. That 2019 vote was 73 percent/24 percent White/Black and 44 percent/42 percent Republican/Democrat.
Source: LA Politics
Statewide Early Voting Statistical Report
FOR Election Date 10/14/2023
Begin Date 1/1/1900 AND End Date 9/30/2023
81,538 – early voting total as of 9/30/23
57,489 – white
21,908 – black
2,141 - other
36,328 – Democrat
33,649 - Republican
The total early voting number in the 2019 gubernatorial campaign was 386,468.
Oct. 14, 2023 - Gubernatorial/Municipal Primary Election
Early voting is Sept. 30 through Oct. 7 (excluding Sunday, Oct. 1) from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
This one-page publication provides information on the job duties and responsibilities for Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commissioner of Insurance. It also indicates line of succession to the Governor.
The new fiscal year (FY) begins on October 1, 2023, and Congress has so far enacted none of the 12 appropriations bills setting discretionary spending levels. Lawmakers have until midnight on the final day of the fiscal year – September 30 – to enact legislation to fund the programs covered by the appropriations process, or the government will shut down. A continuing resolution (CR) to allow lawmakers more time to complete work on spending bills is likely to be considered. A shutdown in FY 2024 would affect all federal activities covered by discretionary appropriations, as opposed to the most recent FY 2019 shutdown that began in late 2018 and extended into early 2019 that affected only departments and agencies covered by the seven appropriations bills that Congress had not yet enacted.
The comprehensive Q&A list answers each of the following questions:
What is a government shutdown?
What services are affected in a shutdown and how?
Is the government preparing for a shutdown?
How would federal employees be affected?
How and why do mandatory programs continue during a shutdown?
How many times has the government shut down?
Does a government shutdown save money?
How can Congress avoid a shutdown?
What is a Continuing Resolution?
How often does Congress pass CRs?
What are the disadvantages of using CRs?
How is Congress addressing funding?
How does a shutdown differ from a default?
How does a shutdown differ from “sequestration” or “sequester”?
Source: Committee for a Responsible Federal Government
Four proposed amendments to Louisiana’s constitution await voters in the Oct. 14 statewide primary election. Voters will decide whether election officials can accept donations from nonprofit organizations, whether in-person religious services deserve an extra layer of constitutional protection, how the state should allocate surplus money and whether cities should have the right to take away a lucrative property tax break from landlords that have serious code violations.
As part of the mission to educate voters ahead of the election, the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana will host a Constitutional Amendment Webinar on Oct. 4 at 12:00 p.m.
Click here to register
PAR recently released the 2023 Guide to the Constitutional Amendments, a nonpartisan, educational review to help people understand the issues and the proposed changes on the ballots. Join PAR along with Daniel Erspamer, CEO of the Pelican Institute for Public Policy; Barry Erwin, President of the Council for a Better Louisiana; and Jan Moller, Executive Director of the Louisiana Budget Project, for an in-depth discussion about this year's proposed amendments.
The Louisiana Budget Project also released a guide to the constitutional amendments.
The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a notice of proposed rulemaking that would restore and extend overtime protections to 3.6 million salaried workers. The proposed rule would guarantee overtime pay for most salaried workers earning less than $1,059 per week, about $55,000 per year.
The next Office of Advocacy Roundtable will meet virtually to discuss the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Proposed Overtime Rule. DOL proposes to increase the minimum salary threshold for the “white collar” exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) from $35,568 to $55,068 annually. This threshold may be increased in the final rule based on the most recent data available, possibly up to $60,209. These meetings will be held virtually using Microsoft Teams on Tuesday, September 26th and Wednesday, September 27th.
TUESDAY, September 26, 2023, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Eastern Time
WEDNESDAY, September 27, 2023, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Eastern Time
Send your RSVP for ONE of these meetings to Janis Reyes at Janis.Reyes@sba.gov.
**A meeting link will be provided to you when you RSVP.
I. Introductory Remarks (1:00 PM – 1:20 PM)
Janis Reyes, Assistant Chief Counsel, SBA Office of Advocacy
Jessica Looman, Principal Deputy Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, DOL
Ms. Looman will provide a high-level overview of this proposed rule.
After her briefing, the agency will listen to small business concerns. Comments expressed during this roundtable do not take the place of submitting written comments to the regulatory docket. Written comments on this rule are due to DOL on November 7, 2023.
II. Input from Interested Small Entities (1:20 PM – 3:00 PM)
We would welcome you input on issues such as:
*** Roundtable meetings are open to all interested persons and are intended to facilitate an open and frank discussion about issues of interest to small business. These meetings are off the record and not intended for press purposes. Direct quotations of presenters or attendees may not be used without direct written approval of the person(s) making the statement. All press inquiries should be sent to email@example.com. Agendas and presentations are available to all.***
1. Overview of Department of Labor’s Overtime Proposal
On August 30, 2023, the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a rule which will increase the minimum salary for the “white collar” overtime exemption from $35,568 to $55,068 annually (equivalent to $17.10 per hour and $26.48 per hour, respectively). To be exempt from overtime pay, workers must be paid a salary of at least $55,068 and must also meet certain job duties for executive, administrative, and professional employees. Workers with a salary below this threshold must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours a week. This threshold may be increased in the final rule based on the most recent data available, possibly up to $60,209 (equivalent to $28.95 per hour). DOL will also increase the total annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees from $107,432 per year to $143,988 per year. DOL also plans to automatically update earnings thresholds every three years.
DOL estimates that this rule will have the following Year 1 costs for small entities:
Comments on this rule are due November 7, 2023.
Today, The Times-Picayune, Nola.com has endorsed Stephen Waguespack for Governor. "We support Wags because he will best represent Louisiana to the nation and the world by projecting an image of competence, courage and compassion. Those same qualities will be indispensable in uniting and guiding Louisianans through the challenges that await us in the coming years."
On June 7, Congressman Garrett Graves also endorsed Stephen Waguespack. “He’s the person in this race who can put politics aside, do what’s right and give us the Louisiana that we deserve,” Graves said in a Twitter video posted by the Waguespack campaign.
At the end of July, Senator Bill Cassidy endorsed Jeff Landry. Cassidy said he and Landry agree Louisiana needs to prioritize affordable flood insurance, access to mental health services and develop the “new energy economy.” Their common ground on these issues is one of the reasons Cassidy felt comfortable with his endorsement, he said.
But the two men have different political styles. Since winning his second term in office, Cassidy has been more willing to work across the aisle with Democrats in Congress, particularly on infrastructure deals. He’s also been publicly critical of former President Donald Trump.
Looking at recent poll numbers, it’s likely more endorsements will follow in the next two weeks….and another candidate possibly dropping out of the race.
Republican state Rep. Richard Nelson of Mandeville, whose signature issue was eliminating the state income tax, dropped out of the Louisiana governor's race and endorsed GOP frontrunner Jeff Landry. Nelson, 37, was the youngest of the seven major candidates in the race.
Nelson has touted a goal of jettisoning Louisiana's state income tax to make the state more attractive to young people and align it with neighbors like Texas. He took more moderate stances than other Republican candidates on some issues, pledging to support exceptions to Louisiana's strict abortion ban in cases of rape and incest.
Other major candidates in the race include: Republican state Sen. Sharon Hewitt; Independent attorney Hunter Lundy; Republican Treasurer John Schroder; former Louisiana Association of Business and Industry President Stephen Waguespack, a Republican; and Democrat Shawn Wilson, former Louisiana transportation secretary.
The primary election is Oct. 14 with the runoff election set for Nov. 18.
The Internal Revenue Service announced last week that it will not process new Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) applications until at least 2024 because of the recent proliferation of ERTC scams. This means that nonprofits that were eligible for the ERTC for 2020 or 2021 and have not yet filed for the tax credit will need to wait until at least early 2024 for the IRS to process their applications. Nonprofits that have pending ERTC applications should expect delays during the moratorium period, because the IRS is processing existing claims at a much slower pace than usual.
The IRS also issued new guidance and tools for helping determine ERC eligibility, including frequently asked questions and a new question and answer guide to help nonprofits and businesses better understand if they meet the qualifying standards for the ERTC.
In addition, the IRS is developing a settlement program for repayments for those who received an improper ERC payment due to the proliferation of scammers. More details will be provided this fall.
Lastly, the IRS is finalizing details that will be available soon for a special withdrawal option for those who have filed an ERC claim but the claim has not been processed. This option – which can be used by taxpayers whose claim hasn't yet been paid– will allow the taxpayers, many of them small businesses and nonprofits who were misled by promoters, to avoid possible repayment issues and paying promoters contingency fees.
The new fiscal year (FY) begins on October 1, 2023, and Congress has so far enacted none of the 12 appropriations bills setting discretionary spending levels. Lawmakers have until midnight on the final day of the fiscal year – September 30 – to enact legislation to fund the programs covered by the appropriations process, or the government will shut down.
A stopgap spending bill known as a “continuing resolution” (CR) would allow lawmakers more time to negotiate full details of an appropriation plan and provide temporary funding for the federal government.
A shutdown in FY 2024 would affect all federal activities covered by discretionary appropriations, as opposed to the most recent FY 2019 shutdown that began in late 2018 and extended into early 2019 that affected only departments and agencies covered by the seven appropriations bills that Congress had not yet enacted.
If Congress is unable to take either of these actions, large parts of the federal government will shut down beginning on October 1. Government shutdowns can harm nonprofits and the communities they serve by causing delays in nonprofits’ payments from federal agencies and creating disruption in the delivery of federal benefits.
While Congress and the White House agreed to spending levels in June as part of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, both chambers appear to be ignoring that agreement, with the Senate proposing significantly more spending, and the House asking for greater spending cuts. Negotiations are more challenging than usual this year because a small group of House members are poised to block any spending plan or continuing resolution that does not include severe spending cuts and controversial policy provisions that are unlikely to meet the Senate’s approval.
Below are links that explain in more detail the consequences of a federal government shutdown:
What is a government shutdown and why are we likely to have another one?
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