Author

Julie O'Donoghue

Julie O'Donoghue

Julie O’Donoghue is a senior reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator and producer of the Louisiana Illuminator podcast. She’s received awards from the Virginia Press Association and Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press. Julie covered state government and politics for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune for six years. She’s also covered government and politics in Missouri, Virginia and Washington D.C. Julie is a proud D.C. native and Washington Capitals hockey fan. She and her partner, Jed, live in Baton Rouge. She has two stepchildren, Quinn and Steven.

The Guardian or Authority of Law, created by sculptor James Earle Fraser, rests on the side of the U.S. Supreme Court on September 28, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Washington Mardi Gras: The swamp becomes crowded

By: - January 27, 2023

WASHINGTON – The Washington Hilton lobby was wall-to-wall with Louisiana elected officials, lobbyists, and business leaders Thursday afternoon as more Washington Mardi Gras attendees arrived ahead of the first official night event of the week’s festivities. The Hilton’s ground floor bar – renamed the “65th Parish” for the next few days in honor of Louisiana  […]

U.S. Capitol

From one swamp to another: Welcome to Washington Mardi Gras

By: - January 26, 2023

Ahead of a state special session on insurance next week, many of Louisiana’s elected officials, business leaders and state lobbyists decamped to Washington, D.C., for the annual Washington Mardi Gras. The politically-fueled celebration  this week features dozens of corporate parties, business group luncheons and candidate fundraisers. While official events don’t get underway until Thursday, hundreds […]

Katie Bernhardt illustration

Louisiana Democratic chair Katie Bernhardt says she’s ‘committed to uniting behind one candidate’ for governor

By: - January 25, 2023

WASHINGTON – Louisiana Democratic Party chair Katie Bernhardt didn’t rule out running for governor herself in an interview Wednesday, but also said she was “committed to uniting behind one [Democratic] candidate.” She specifically mentioned she would be willing to get behind Louisiana Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson, should he jump into the governor’s race. Speaking in […]

Water is held in an aerating pond at the Sewerage & Water Board plant in New Orleans.

Louisiana legislators approve final $54 million in sewer and water projects

By: - January 25, 2023

Louisiana lawmakers selected a final round of 19 projects Friday to receive the remaining $54.3 million allocated to local water and sewer system upgrades this year. The largest grants came out to $5 million each, and went to Lafayette, Iberia, Lafourche and Ascension parishes.  In total, Edwards and legislators have devoted $750 million in federal […]

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

Louisiana juvenile center repair costs up 75% to prevent escapes

By: - January 24, 2023

Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana lawmakers may end up spending 75% more than they intended on repairs to an incarcerated youth facility in order to fortify the building against escapes.  Lawmakers initially allocated $440,217 in May 2021 to fix damage at Acadiana Center for Youth in Bunkie. Less than two years later, the project […]

Gov. Edwards going to Europe to tour new flood control solutions

Louisiana insurance commissioner makes case for special session on homeowner’s policy crisis

By: - January 20, 2023

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon met resistance from legislators Friday as he pitched them on a February special session to fund an insurance incentive program meant to keep homeowners costs under control.  “People are literally going to lose their houses if we don’t have a special session,” Donelon said during a Joint Legislative Committee on […]

Damaged homes in Chauvin, Louisiana, after Hurricane Ida

Louisiana legislators ‘skeptical’ of Donelon’s homeowner’s insurance fix

By: - January 19, 2023

Several Louisiana legislators said they aren’t yet prepared to fund a homeowners insurance incentive program backed by Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, even if Gov. John Bel Edwards calls them into a special session in early February. “I think the House is skeptical of everything,” House Speaker Pro Tempore Tanner Magee, R-Houma, said in an interview […]

(Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Garret Graves doesn’t know whether he’s running for governor yet

By: - January 18, 2023

U.S. House Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, declined to say Wednesday morning whether he’s running for Louisiana governor, despite pervasive rumors  over the weekend that he is getting into the race. “I don’t know,” Graves said when asked directly if he was going to run for governor. He then said he doesn’t know when he […]

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana budget priorities: Where the governor, state lawmakers stand

By: - January 16, 2023

Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana legislators agree that pay raises for K-12 school teachers, roads and bridges will likely benefit from the extra $1.5 billion in state revenue that is expected to arrive over the next 18 months. But questions remain about what other portions of state government might see an increase in support. […]

Aerial view of Louisiana State Capitol building

Louisiana Legislature special session on insurance may take place in February

By: - January 13, 2023

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration and legislative leadership said it’s now likely that a special session of the Louisiana Legislature dedicated to the state’s homeowners insurance crisis will be scheduled for February. Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, said he and the governor are expected to meet next week to finalize whether a special session is […]

The Louisiana Republican Party is debating whether to recommend the elimination of no-fault divorce in Louisiana.

Louisiana Republican Party considers backing elimination of no-fault divorce

By: - January 11, 2023

The Republican Party of Louisiana is debating whether to recommend the elimination of no-fault divorce, a change that would make it more difficult for couples to dissolve their marriages if enacted.  The Louisiana Republican State Central Committee was scheduled to take up a resolution at its meeting Saturday encouraging state lawmakers to eliminate no-fault divorce, […]

Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury celebrates with fans following Game Two of the 2021 WNBA Finals at Footprint Center on Oct. 13, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Louisiana Republican Party objects to Brittney Griner prisoner swap

By: - January 8, 2023

The Louisiana Republican State Central Committee voted Saturday to condemn the Biden administration’s prisoner swap with Russia that led to the release of basketball star Brittney Griner.  Members of the GOP committee attending their quarterly meeting in Lafayette supported a resolution condemning the Griner exchange through a voice vote. No members raised objections to the […]