Roundup: Lege food budget grows / Mississippi River rising fast / Student debt record

    Wining and dining: Lobbyists can spend a bit more on wining and dining Louisiana state lawmakers and other public officials, beginning July 1. When the new 2019-20 budget year kicks in, lobbyists can spend $62 per occasion on food and drink for a public official, up from the current cap of $61. When the lobbying cap was enacted, the limit was $50 per occasion. But the 2008 law that sets the limit allows annual adjustments tied to increases in the federal Consumer Price Index for food and beverages. That index rose 1.6% in the last year. Read the full story.

    High water: The Mississippi River’s rising will blow through previous crest forecasts through all points in Louisiana, prompting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to likely open the Bonnet Carre Spillway this week to relieve pressure and protect New Orleans, The Town Talk reports. Matt Roe, a spokesman for the Corps’ New Orleans District, told USA Today Network Monday morning that commanding Col. Michael N. Clancy is expected to recommend the spillway be opened either Wednesday or Thursday. Read the full story.

    Ball and chain: Debt among 19- to 29-year-old Americans exceeded $1 trillion at the end of 2018, Bloomberg reports, citing data from the New York Federal Reserve Consumer Credit Panel. That’s the highest debt exposure for the youngest adult group since late 2007. Student loans make up the majority of the $1.005 trillion owed by this cohort, followed by mortgage debt. However, new mortgages among young adults today remain quite a bit below levels incurred in the early 2000s. See the full story.  

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