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.

Aerial view of Louisiana State Capitol building

Louisiana legislators are in agreement to give teachers $2,000 raise

By: - May 26, 2023

Louisiana lawmakers appeared to have settled on giving public school teachers and other school staff $2,000 and $1,000 annual raises, respectively, legislators across the political spectrum said this week. Conservative House members said they are now willing to put a teacher pay raise directly into the state budget, removing the most significant opposition to doing […]

The Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana teacher raises, construction projects hinge on state lawmaker budget negotiations

By: - May 25, 2023

Louisiana legislators could struggle to fund public school teacher pay raises and a state construction plan for roads, bridges, universities and coastal restoration if lawmakers refuse to raise the state’s spending cap, state senators stressed this week. Several senators want to grant a $2,000 annual pay increase for public school teachers and a $1,000 annual […]

State Rep. Raymond Crews stands at podium on House floor

Miscarriage certificates, similar to birth certificates, could soon be issued in Louisiana

By: - May 24, 2023

Louisiana would start issuing “commemorative certificates” for miscarriages — documents that closely resemble birth certificates given out when babies are born — under legislation that looks likely to become law.  House Bill 457, sponsored by Rep. Raymond Crews, R-Bossier City, encourages doctors to tell people who lost pregnancies at 20 weeks or earlier that they […]

A security camera pm the CEO;omg is in a classroom with students

Where did $8 million for cameras in special education classrooms go? Lawmakers want answers.

By: - May 23, 2023

Louisiana lawmakers want more information from state education officials about what they’ve done with $8 million set aside last year to put cameras in special education classrooms. “I want direct answers to what has happened to the cameras,” Sen. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, said Monday during a Louisiana Senate Finance Committee hearing.  Advocates for children […]

Louisiana ‘fix’ for lower reimbursement to sexual assault victims is close to approval

By: - May 22, 2023

A bill to ensure victims of sexual assault can receive the same amount of public funding to cover their medical bills as all other crime victims is close to gaining full approval from the Louisiana Legislature. Senate Bill 169, from Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, is supposed to prevent the Louisiana Crime Victims Reparations Board from […]

The Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana House leaders steer millions of dollars in pet projects to their home parishes

By: - May 18, 2023

Courthouse repairs in Gonzales costing $1.8 million, $1 million for the Youngsville Sports Complex in Lafayette, and another $1 million for the Bayou Country Sports Complex in Houma.  Approximately 30% of state funding earmarked for legislators’ 197 personal pet projects in the budget plan the Louisiana House has approved goes to just three of the […]

Senator Regina Barrow of Baton Rouge

Louisiana Senate guts bill to help incarcerated women who killed their alleged abusers

By: - May 16, 2023

The Louisiana Senate gutted legislation Tuesday aimed at giving women serving prison sentences for killing their alleged abusers a chance at release and then voted in favor of an altered version of the bill. Advocates for domestic violence survivors now say the measure won’t do much to help the incarcerated women it was intended to […]

A woman walks into an empty amphitheater

Louisiana lawmakers reject measures aimed at clarifying medical exceptions to abortion ban

By: - May 16, 2023

A Louisiana House committee overwhelmingly rejected two pieces of legislation Tuesday seeking to clarify when an abortion is still legal due to medical complications, in spite of doctors repeatedly complaining over the past year that the current abortion ban is unclear on this matter.  Lawmakers in favor of the legislation believe the bills may have […]


Louisiana Senate votes 36-1 for anti-abortion pregnancy crisis centers tax credit

By: - May 16, 2023

The Louisiana Senate voted 36-1 Monday to establish a tax credit program that will benefit controversial anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers and could cost the state up to $5 million annually. Sen. Royce Duplessis, D-New Orleans, was the only member of the upper chamber to vote against the measure, and no senator — not even Duplessis […]

A blurred perspective from a student's desk in the rear of the elementary school classroom showing a teacher point to a whiteboard

Louisiana Senate leaders plan to push for teacher pay raise

By: - May 11, 2023

Louisiana Senate leaders intend to push to give public school teachers a pay raise in their budget proposal, setting up a showdown with House members over the state’s annual spending plan that must go into effect July 1.  “I think the teachers will get a raise,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Mack “Bodi” White, R-Central, said […]

A woman's silhouette is shown in front of trees with sparse foliage with a glowing sun behind them.

Louisiana lawmakers won’t allow for rape, incest exceptions to abortion ban

By: - May 10, 2023

Louisiana lawmakers scuttled proposals Wednesday to carve out more exceptions to the state’s strict abortion ban this year, in spite of months of complaints from doctors and pregnant women that the law has unintended consequences. The Louisiana House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice voted down two bills that would have allowed more people […]


Louisiana lawmakers scuttle most ‘pro-family’ tax credits proposed in wake of abortion ban

By: - May 8, 2023

Louisiana lawmakers have quietly scuttled three of the four tax credits proposed to help pregnant people and adoptive parents in wake of the state’s strict abortion ban. A bill creating a tax deduction for parents who have miscarriages or are expected to give birth to a baby – referred to as the “unborn” child tax […]