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 | 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.

Governor: Some lawmakers focused on ‘non-issues’

Louisiana legislative leaders steer millions of dollars in pet projects to their own parishes

By: - May 25, 2022

A state senator’s nonprofit organization has been allocated $1.5 million. The booster club for an East Baton Rouge high school is getting $1.1 million. Catholic churches in St. Martin Parish will receive a combined $170,000, and a Shreveport group devoted to roses will get $100,000. These are just a few of the $104.2 million in […]

Governor: Some lawmakers focused on ‘non-issues’

Louisiana budget 2022-23: Winners and losers

By: - May 20, 2022

The Louisiana Legislature passed its final version of the 2022-2023 state budget proposal Thursday, totaling an unprecedented $47 billion with a focus on major bridge projects, increasing salaries for lower-paid government workers and paying off state debt. The state has billions of dollars in additional funding to spend in the fiscal year that starts July […]

Senate wants final say on governor’s picks for State Police, Civil Service commissions

Louisiana’s 2022 budget plan: 4 things you may have missed

By: - May 19, 2022

The Louisiana Legislature is expected Thursday to finalize its budget plan for fiscal year 2022-23. It includes a $1,500 annual pay raise for K-12 public school teachers, a 3% pay raise for state higher education faculty and wage increases for correctional officers and child welfare workers. Here are some aspects of the budget plan that might […]

hurricane evacuation route sign

Louisiana will do extra checks of nursing home evacuation sites before hurricane season

By: - May 17, 2022

The extra check is a precautionary measure after more than 800 nursing home residents had to be rescued from an evacuation site at a Tangipahoa Parish warehouse following Hurricane Ida.

Governor: Some lawmakers focused on ‘non-issues’

Louisiana’s latest budget proposal: Bridges prioritized, university faculty pay raise reduced

By: - May 15, 2022

Bridges and road projects were prioritized over teacher and university faculty pay in the latest Louisiana budget plan unveiled this weekend. Local law enforcement and first responders also remain without the permanent raise that Gov. John Bel Edwards had pushed to give.  The Louisiana Senate Finance Committee moved budget bills with hundreds of amendments Friday […]

microscopic view of in-vitro fertilization

Louisiana House guts abortion bill that could have sent pregnant patients to prison

By: - May 12, 2022

The Louisiana House gutted a controversial abortion bill Thursday, removing language from it that could have sent people who undergo the procedure to prison, outlawed certain forms of birth control, and criminalized parts of the in vitro fertilization process. The rewrite has stalled the legislation, because the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Danny McCormick, R-Oil City, is […]

pregnant woman and doctor

If Louisiana bans abortion, will the state spend more money on pregnant people, children?

By: - May 12, 2022

Anti-abortion Republican lawmakers who oversee the budget process in the Louisiana Legislature offered little to no insight on whether more money would be made available for increased maternal health and child care. 

House Republicans plan to remove language punishing pregnant people from abortion bill

By: - May 11, 2022

They also want to strip it of provisions meant to restrict certain forms of birth control and affect fertility treatments, according to interviews with Republican lawmakers.

Protestors outside the U.S. Supreme Court

Louisiana Right to Life opposes bill that would classify abortion as homicide

By: - May 7, 2022

“Our long-standing policy is that abortion-vulnerable women should not be treated as criminals,” the group said in a written statement released Friday night. “Instead, we should hold accountable the individuals performing the abortion or selling or providing the chemical abortion drugs.” 

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

Louisiana House votes to limit use of solitary confinement on incarcerated youth

By: - May 5, 2022

The Louisiana House of Representatives voted 86-7 Thursday to place legal limits on the use of solitary confinement in state centers for incarcerated youth. It follows an explosive investigation revealing that underage people in state custody were held in isolation without access to education or rehabilitative services for weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic. House Bill […]

Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans

It could get even harder to sue Mardi Gras krewes for float deaths, injuries

By: - May 4, 2022

The Louisiana House voted 96-0 Wednesday for legislation that would make it more difficult to sue Mardi Gras krewes and other parade organizations over death or injuries caused by parade floats. It now moves to the Senate for consideration. House Bill 923, sponsored by Rep. Scott McKnight, R-Baton Rouge, would limit the ability for people […]

Louisiana governor discusses solar and wind at U.N. climate conference

Edwards declines to share personal views on leaked draft of Supreme Court abortion opinion

By: - May 4, 2022

Gov. John Bel Edwards declined Wednesday to share his personal views on a leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion that indicates the court is leaning toward overturning Roe vs. Wade – the landmark court decision that guarantees access to abortion across the country.  When asked about the draft opinion, written by Justice Samuel […]