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.

Jennifer Marusak

Louisiana governor opts not to veto transgender athlete ban

By: - June 6, 2022

Gov. John Bel Edwards chose not to block a new law banning transgender athletes from participating in women and girls sports competitions in Louisiana, although he successfully vetoed a similar measure last year. “That bill was going to become law regardless of what I did,” Edwards said Monday at a press conference. “Acknowledging that reality […]

Derrius Guice

Crime victims could get more access to police reports in Louisiana under approved bill

By: - June 6, 2022

The Louisiana Legislature has approved a bill meant to guarantee crime victims’ access to copies of police reports related to their own cases, though some advocates for crime survivors said the legislation doesn’t go far enough to ensure that right. House Bill 615, sponsored by Rep. Aimee Freeman, D-New Orleans, will require law enforcement to […]

Louisiana to ensure sexual assault survivors get access to medical records

By: - June 6, 2022

Louisiana will guarantee sexual assault victims access to written medical records following years of law enforcement and medical providers refusing to release such documents.  The Louisiana Legislature overwhelmingly approved two bills, Senate Bill 147 and House Bill 313, that work together to create this entitlement. Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed one piece of legislation […]

microscopic view of in-vitro fertilization

Louisiana lawmakers kill an insurance mandate to cover fertility preservation for cancer patients

By: - June 5, 2022

A powerful Louisiana Senate committee scuttled a proposal that would have required insurance companies to cover fertility preservation procedures for cancer patients about to undergo radiation, chemotherapy and other treatments that will render them sterile.  The Louisiana Senate Finance Committee last week deemed House Bill 537 too expensive for the state, which would have had […]

John Bel Edwards

Louisiana governor pushes university faculty pay higher with veto pen

By: - June 2, 2022

Gov. John Bel Edwards has used his veto power to give higher education faculty a larger pay raise than the one legislators approved last month. Edwards restored funding for the LSU, Southern University and the University of Louisiana systems by a total of $8.7 million. The extra money is supposed to be used to pay […]

Catholic Church interior abuse victims

Louisiana Legislature passes ‘fix’ to make it easier for sex abuse victims to sue

By: - June 1, 2022

The Louisiana Legislature approved Tuesday an update to a law it passed just last year that was supposed to make it easier for adult victims of childhood sex abuse to sue institutions such as the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts of America.  The Louisiana House and Senate voted without objection to pass House Bill 402, […]

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 $105.2 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 […]

Voters will decide on giving Senate power over governor's nominees to 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 […]