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.

Hurricane Ida was 'catastrophic' in St. John Parish, Gov. Edwards says

Louisiana governor supports creating second majority-Black congressional district

By: and - December 16, 2021

Gov. John Bel Edwards came out in support of adding a second majority-Black U.S. House district Thursday–a move which would give minority voters much more political sway statewide.  His statements Thursday are the most specific comments Edwards, a Democrat, has made on the political redistricting process. Edwards can veto the political maps put forward by […]

In Louisiana, rape survivors are denied access to their own medical records

By: - December 16, 2021

Ten years ago, Yvonne Williams agreed to have her body photographed, poked and prodded as part of a forensic medical exam — or rape kit exam — at the Interim LSU hospital in New Orleans. Williams hoped the exam would lead to the arrest of the man she was confident assaulted her, but it didn’t […]

Casino

St. Tammany Parish rejects Slidell casino proposal

By: - December 11, 2021

St. Tammany Parish on Saturday voted down a proposal to build a large casino and resort near the lakefront in the city of Slidell after several months of government lobbying and a multimillion-dollar pro-casino political campaign.  The casino project was rejected by a 26-point margin, with 63 percent of voters opposing it. The measure was […]

Louisiana Capitol Building

Louisiana bond commission pulls bank from refinancing deal over gun policy

By: - November 18, 2021

Louisiana’s State Bond Commission Thursday changed its mind about which bank should handle the refinancing of the $700 million worth of state debt based on the financial institutions’ policies toward gun manufacturers. The Bond Commission unanimously voted to give Wells Fargo the state’s refinancing contract after concerns were raised last month about JPMorgan Chase & […]

Audit finds State Fire Marshal employee and brother bilked Louisiana for nearly $400,000

Louisiana voters approve income tax changes supported by business community

By: - November 13, 2021

In a low-turnout election Saturday, Louisiana voters approved an overhaul of Louisiana’s income tax rates and credits that the local business community has sought for years.  Constitutional amendment #2 will lower state income tax rates in exchange for lifting a frequently-used  tax deduction for paid federal income taxes.  It will also reduce the state’s corporate […]

7 things to know about a whistleblower’s lawsuit against Attorney General Landry’s office

By: - November 12, 2021

A former, high-ranking state prosecutor filed a lawsuit last week against his former boss, Attorney General Jeff Landry, over Landry’s alleged retaliation against the prosecutor for reporting sexual misconduct.  Matthew Derbes resigned from the Louisiana Department of Justice, which Landry leads, in April and shortly revealed himself to be a whistleblower who had complained about […]

man at a voting booth

Louisiana holds statewide election Saturday

By: - November 11, 2021

Louisiana’s statewide election featuring four constitutional amendments will take place Saturday, Nov. 13. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The constitutional amendments on the ballot are related to tax and state budget policy. If approved, they could impact the collection of sales taxes, income tax rates, state budget spending and […]

Tax reform would reduce tax rates and enact tax cut triggers

Central Louisiana could undergo major political changes during redistricting

By: - November 10, 2021

Central Louisiana — including Alexandria and the surrounding region– is at risk of potentially losing its current congressional representative and seeing its legislative seats move farther south during the state’s upcoming political redistricting process. But local residents are divided over whether the political changes would be a step in the right direction.  The Louisiana Legislature’s […]

Louisiana AG Landry sues Biden administration over federal contractor vaccine rules

By: - November 5, 2021

Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry on Thursday filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s administration over its COVID-19 vaccine requirement for federal contractors.  Several other states attorneys general from the Republican Party have already filed similar lawsuits. Indiana and Mississippi joined Landry in his lawsuit on behalf of Louisiana, which was submitted to a federal […]

Bob Dean Warehouse

Louisiana government hearing on yanking nursing home licenses won’t happen for a year

By: - November 3, 2021

There will be no ruling on whether nursing homes owner Bob Dean will permanently lose his seven nursing home licenses for more than a year — and the dispute over Dean’s nursing homes ownership will likely drag on for much longer.   Louisiana Division of Administrative Law Judge Karla Coreil and attorneys agreed that research and […]

Audit finds State Fire Marshal employee and brother bilked Louisiana for nearly $400,000

Louisiana’s 2021 Constitutional Amendments: What you need to know

By: - October 30, 2021

Louisiana voters will consider four constitutional amendments — and little else — in the next election scheduled for Nov. 13. All four amendments would affect Louisiana’s tax policy if passed. The amendments are the only items on the statewide ballot. New Orleans has high-profile elections for city government, but there’s not much else that will […]

Tax reform would reduce tax rates and enact tax cut triggers

13 things to know about Louisiana’s Constitutional Amendment 2: Proposed income tax changes

By: - October 29, 2021

Louisiana voters will decide whether to make significant changes to the state’s income tax rates and deductions in the election scheduled for Nov. 13. If passed, Constitutional Amendment #2 on Louisiana’s ballot would lower income tax rates in exchange for lifting state income tax deductions that nearly every person filing taxes uses. It would also […]