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.

Gov. John Bel Edwards

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards extends coronavirus restrictions

By: - July 22, 2020

Gov. John Bel Edwards will extend the state’s current coronavirus restrictions — including its face covering mandate, 50-person gathering cap and bar closures — for an additional two weeks Friday. The limitations, commonly referred to as “Phase 2”, will now go until Aug. 7, the day after Louisiana’s public school students are scheduled to resume […]

Louisiana sets up rental assistance program for people affected by economic slowdown

By: - July 17, 2020

Louisiana has set up a rental assistance program for people who are in jeopardy of losing their housing. The program is starting out with $7 million in federal funding, and is expected to grow to at least $24 million. Officials said they are also searching for more financial support. The assistance is available on a […]

Louisiana’s $250 front-line worker payment may run out by the end of the week

By: - July 16, 2020

Louisiana’s supplemental $250 payments for front-line workers looks likely to run out in the next day or so. Gov. John Bel Edwards encouraged people who qualify to file their applications in a matter of hours if they want to receive a payment.  The state has already received 125,000 applications for the $250 payment since the […]

Angola

Forty-two percent of Louisiana inmates tested have been positive for COVID-19

By: - July 12, 2020

Since the beginning of April, Louisiana has tested about 10 percent of the state inmates that reside in the state prison system for COVID-19, and over 40 percent of the prisoners tested have been positive for the virus, according to data provided by the state Department of Corrections Thursday. Since the beginning of the pandemic, […]

Two huge COVID-19 surges make Louisiana an outlier in the U.S.

By: - July 10, 2020

In April, the United States COVID-19 outbreak greatly affected a handful of states including New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Massachusetts and Louisiana. Now in July, the United States COVID-19 outbreak is affecting a different group of states including Arizona, Florida, South Carolina and Texas. But it’s also affecting Louisiana – again. Most states with COVID-19 surges […]

Louisiana’s largest healthcare provider scales back community COVID-19 testing

By: - July 2, 2020

Ochsner Health, Louisiana’s largest healthcare provider, will put new limitations on its community testing program for COVID-19 even as state health officials warn about a surge in new infections. The hospital system needs to preserve its testing capacity for hospital patients, said Dr. Sandra Kemmerly, the system medical director of hospital quality, in an interview […]

Gov. John Bel Edwards

Louisiana sees largest daily spike in coronavirus cases since April

By: - July 2, 2020

Louisiana reported its largest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in three months Wednesday (July 1), with more than 2,000 tests for coronavirus coming back positive.  “This disease is coming back, and it’s coming back with a vengeance, and we better start getting serious,” said Jimmy Guidry, the state health officer. Not all of the cases […]

Louisiana Capitol Building

Local public defenders budget reduced in Louisiana Senate proposal

By: - June 26, 2020

Update: The Louisiana Senate reversed its initial reduction to local public defender offices when it approved the budget Friday afternoon. It moved back to the original public defender funding breakdown drawn up by the Louisiana House. The Legislature is expect to approve the final version of the total state operating budget by Tuesday. The new […]

Ted James

Louisiana Lawmakers support police study – as long as it doesn’t talk about George Floyd

By: - June 25, 2020

The Louisiana Legislature overwhelmingly supports the study of policing tactics. Lawmakers appear likely to set up a new task force to examine law enforcement practices over the next year — with the goal of recommending legislation to change state policing laws in 2021. But White Republican lawmakers in the House haven’t wanted to link that […]

Louisiana inmate taking out the trash

Coronavirus complicates Louisiana’s use of prison labor

By: - June 23, 2020

As COVID-19 spread across Louisiana, the state’s prison system shut down educational programs, stopped in-person visits from family, eliminated face-to-face religious services and suspended meetings between inmates and attorneys. But thousands of inmates have continued to be sent to work even as those restrictions on the other parts of their lives were imposed. Louisiana uses […]

Louisiana lawmakers focus coronavirus recovery efforts on business community

By: - June 23, 2020

The Louisiana Legislature has focused most of the state’s coronavirus relief strategy on businesses, rather than government programs and individual aid. Republicans leading the body are pushing over a dozen tax breaks and state incentive programs in the Legislature’s special session as a way to help restaurants, retail outlets and mom-and-pop shops survive the coronavirus slowdown. […]