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.

Louisiana health department declines to answer doctors’ questions on abortion law

By: - November 1, 2022

The Louisiana Department of Health refuses to answer questions from doctors about the state’s abortion ban, making it difficult for physicians to determine what medical care for pregnant people might put them at risk for criminal charges.  The health department’s lead attorney Stephen Russo said his agency is not responsible for clearing up physician confusion […]

New Orleans protest over Supreme Court overturning abortion ruling

Both sides of abortion debate criticize Louisiana’s list of exceptions

By: - October 25, 2022

Few people appear happy with Louisiana’s approach to carving out medical exceptions for the state’s sweeping abortion ban.  Doctors and anti-abortion advocates criticized the state’s list of two dozen “medically futile” pregnancy conditions that could still be used to access a legal abortion. They spoke Tuesday at a sparsely attended public hearing held on the […]

Louisiana State Senators Bodi White, Mark Abraham and Beth Mizell

Louisiana lawmakers delay decision on funding for LSU maintenance project

By: - October 24, 2022

The Louisiana Legislature’s joint budget committee Friday delayed the approval of additional funding for an LSU maintenance project at its flagship campus in Baton Rouge. LSU is seeking money to replace the “uninterrupted power supply system” at a building that provides computing infrastructure to the university’s entire Baton Rouge campus. LSU wants lawmakers to tap […]

Louisiana says 8 incarcerated juveniles were moved to Angola, but not from Bridge City

By: - October 19, 2022

The Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice clarified Wednesday that it moved eight incarcerated youth to a new facility on the grounds of  Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola this week, not 10 young people as originally reported. The eight young people sent to the Angola site also came from Swanson Center for Youth in Monroe and […]

Abortion rights protestors' signs

Louisiana proposes expanding list of exceptions to abortion ban

By: - October 19, 2022

Louisiana has proposed adding one new condition to the list of medical diagnoses that permit a person to have an abortion under the state’s strict abortion ban. It comes after a woman complained publicly that she couldn’t terminate her compromised pregnancy.  The state Department of Health quietly suggested an update to state abortion regulations in […]

Louisiana juvenile offenders have been moved to Angola site

By: - October 18, 2022

The Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice has transferred incarcerated young people from the Bridge City for Youth to a new juvenile justice facility on the grounds of Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, one of the largest maximum security adult prisons in the country. Sen. Patrick Connick, R-Marrero, said about 10 young people where moved from […]

Gov. John Bel Edwards visits Lloyd's of London reinsurance marketplace during his trip to England in September 2022.

State Police protection for Edwards’ European trips cost taxpayers $52,000

By: - October 18, 2022

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ two trips to Europe over the past three months cost Louisiana taxpayers almost $52,000 just for his security team.  Sending Louisiana State Police troopers with Edwards on his 10-day trip to the Netherlands and France in August cost $33,846, and their travel on his six-day trip to London last month cost […]


In Louisiana, Black men more likely to get monkeypox, white men more likely to be vaccinated

By: - October 12, 2022

In a small parking lot outside of one of Baton Rouge’s few gay bars, health care workers remained upbeat, even as they admitted they had hoped for a bigger turnout to their monkeypox vaccine drive. Only 13 people showed up during the three hours a mobile vaccine clinic was open a few feet from Provo’s […]

Which officials have early access to LSU season tickets, parking passes?

By: - October 6, 2022

Among the perks provided to select Louisiana officials – elected and appointed – is early access to buy season tickets ahead of the general public for LSU sports. For premium seats at Tiger Stadium, they are allowed to bypass a waitlist. On top of that, the majority of these officials are given early access to […]

Members of the LSU Golden Girls perform prior to the game against the Utah State Aggies at Tiger Stadium

Former Louisiana elected officials tap their old campaign funds to buy sports tickets 

By: - October 5, 2022

Editor’s note: This story is the second in a two-part series that looks into the spending of campaign money on sports tickets. You can read the first installment here. You’ll find a chart below this story that online sports ticket spending by former elected officials. In Louisiana, stepping down from public office doesn’t necessarily mean leaving behind all […]

Search: How much campaign cash did Louisiana elected officials spend on sports tickets

By: - October 5, 2022

The Louisiana Illuminator has compiled campaign finance data from 2020 and 2021 to learn how much elected officials and their political action committees spent on sports tickets. The chart below lists the spending alphabetically by official. You can also search through all nine pages by entering the official’s name in the upper left. For more […]

Joe Burrow of the LSU Tigers looks to throw a pass against the Clemson Tigers during the College Football Playoff National Championship game at the Superdome on Jan. 13, 2020 in New Orleans.

Louisiana officials use campaign cash to buy LSU, Saints tickets

By: - October 4, 2022

Editor’s note: This story is the first in a two-part series that looks into the spending of campaign money on sports tickets. You can find the second story here.  If you’re looking for tickets to an LSU or Saints game this year, you might want to ask an elected official for help.  Forty-nine Louisiana politicians spent […]