Julie O'Donoghue

Julie O'Donoghue

Julie O’Donoghue is a senior reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator. She’s received awards from the Virginia Press Association and Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press.

Jetson Center for Youth

New Orleans teens convicted as adults force transfer of women prisoners to all-male Angola

By: - December 9, 2023

Anticipating a housing crunch, Louisiana’s prison system last week moved 18 incarcerated women into a building at the all-male state penitentiary at Angola. It’s the same building recently used to hold incarcerated youth in the juvenile justice system.  The Department of Public Safety and Corrections said it was forced to transfer the women to make […]

Courtroom gavel

Louisiana Supreme Court will ‘review’ parental leave policy for employees

By: - December 8, 2023

The Louisiana Supreme Court hasn’t decided whether to implement Gov. John Bel Edwards’ parental leave policy for its own employees yet. “The Justices are aware of Gov. Edwards’ recent executive order on paid parental leave and will be reviewing it,” spokeswoman Trina Vincent said in an email.  Edwards signed paperwork last month extending six weeks […]

Entrance to Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola

A court order banning Louisiana from holding youth at Angola expires soon. What’s next?

By: - December 7, 2023

A federal court order that bars Louisiana from housing incarcerated youth at the state penitentiary at Angola expires this month, raising questions about whether state officials might try to move troubled teens back to the maximum security adult prison.  Attorneys for the state and civil rights lawyers fighting the Angola placement disagree on when the […]

Police in Minneapolis unravel crime scene tape

Louisiana violent crime task force backed by Jeff Landry offers few specific proposals

By: - December 6, 2023

About a month before Gov.-elect Jeff Landry takes office, a state panel he helped set up to find ways to lower Louisiana’s crime rate has offered few specific proposals for improving public safety. Landry, as attorney general, is technically the chairman of Louisiana’s Violent Crime Task Force, but he hasn’t attended a meeting since its […]

Chenita LeBlanc, a program manager with DePaul Community Health Center, holds a flyer for Louisiana Medicaid members

Louisiana has removed 197,000 people from Medicaid over five months

By: - December 4, 2023

Louisiana removed 197,000 people from its Medicaid rolls over a five-month period from June to October, as it complies with renewed federal standards for the government-backed insurance.  About a quarter of the people dropped, or 47,000, are children. Two-thirds of the individuals cut have lost their health insurance for “procedural reasons,” including not filling out […]

"No Trespassing" sign outside Jetson Center for Youth in Baker

Louisiana expected to open ‘more secure’ juvenile facility in Monroe next month

By: - December 2, 2023

Louisiana officials expect to move the state’s most disruptive incarcerated youth to a revamped, high-security facility in north Louisiana next month.  Construction on a new Swanson Center for Youth at Monroe will be finished by the end of the year, and incarcerated youth from other parts of the state will be transferred to the site […]

Jay Dardenne

Jay Dardenne says he’s still a Republican, just maybe not a Trump Republican

By: - November 28, 2023

Louisiana GOP stalwart Jay Dardenne said he is still a Republican, even after working for the state’s highest-profile Democrat for the past eight years.  “I still identify as a Republican here in Louisiana,” he said Monday when speaking to the Baton Rouge Press Club. “It’s very difficult to do so at a national level frankly, […]

Louisiana state government can't estimate what the budget impact of Gov. John Bel Edwards new paid parental leave policy will be, according to Jay Dardenne, Edwards' budget chief. (Getty Images)

Governor’s budget architect: Impact of paid parental leave for state workers unknown

By: - November 27, 2023

Louisiana won’t be able to estimate the cost of a new paid parental leave policy for state workers until it has been in place for at least several months, said Jay Dardenne, budget chief for outgoing Gov. John Bel Edwards. “We’re not going to know anytime soon what kind of financial impact this has on […]

Three vacant voting stalls are stationed in front of an American flag

Political scientist labels Louisiana the ‘least-interested electorate I’ve ever seen’

By: - November 26, 2023

Forty years ago, Louisiana’s charismatic former Gov. Edwin Edwards wallopped incumbent David Treen in a gubernatorial primary election to return to the state’s highest office after a four-year absence.  A populist and Democrat, Edwards got 62% of the vote to the sitting Republican governor’s 36%. Treen’s image, as perhaps being too boring for Louisiana, never […]

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski testifies during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill

Jeff Landry spent at least $3.7 million with Trump political consultants

By: - November 21, 2023

Gov.-elect Jeff Landry spent at least $3.7 million with political consultants tied to former President Donald Trump while Landry was running for Louisiana governor over the past year.  Months before Landry received Trump’s endorsement in May, the incoming governor started paying people associated with the former president to be a part of his campaign team. […]

The Louisiana State Capitol

Incoming Louisiana legislative leaders undecided on paid parental leave for state workers

By: - November 20, 2023

Incoming leaders of the Louisiana Legislature aren’t sure yet whether they will get behind a paid parental leave policy for state workers Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is putting in place during his final days in office.  “I haven’t talked to enough [Senate] members to know if there is any opposition,” said Sen. Cameron Henry, […]

John Fleming superimposed over a drone phone of the Louisiana Capitol

Former Congressman John Fleming takes Louisiana treasurer race

By: - November 18, 2023

Conservative former Congressman John Fleming was expected to clinch his runoff  Saturday over progressive Democrat Dustin Granger to become Louisiana’s state treasurer, helping to complete a Republican sweep of statewide elections this year.  Fleming led Granger with 66% of the vote as of 8:30 p.m., according to incomplete, unofficial totals from the Louisiana Secretary of […]