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.

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 […]

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

After violent attacks, Louisiana considers reversing juvenile justice approach focused on therapy

By: - May 4, 2022

Michele Piazza’s face swelled up with bruises. Her leg was broken in more than one place. She was beaten so severely that a year after the attack on her, she continues to have physical and mental health challenges. Piazza has worked in prisons and secure care facilities for 18 years. She never got so much […]

Speaker gives Louisiana House day off while asking judge for more redistricting time

Louisiana House Speaker gives lawmakers who voted with him plum committee assignments

By: - May 2, 2022

House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, has given two political independents desirable committee assignments after they sided with him in a March standoff with Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards over a veto of Louisiana’s congressional map. Schexnayder appointed Rep. Joe Marino of Gretna chairman of the House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice last week. […]

Catholic Church interior abuse victims

A Louisiana law was supposed to make it easier for abuse victims to sue. It needs fixing.

By: - April 26, 2022

The Louisiana Legislature is considering a bill aimed at fixing a law created last year that was supposed to make it easier for abuse to sue institutions like the Catholic Church. Instead, it might have imposed unintended restrictions on the very litigation it was designed to help. 

Louisiana Senate overwhelmingly votes for abortion pill restrictions

By: - April 25, 2022

The Louisiana Senate overwhelmingly approved more restrictions on abortion pills in a 33-2 vote Monday (April 25). Every Republican and eight out of 10 Democrats in the chamber supported the legislation carried by Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell. No senator spoke out against the restrictions on the Senate floor before the vote took place.  Senate Bill […]

Bob Dean Warehouse

Louisiana House votes to give health department authority over nursing home evacuation plans

By: - April 25, 2022

The Louisiana House voted 101-0 Monday (April 25) to give the Louisiana Department of Health oversight over nursing home emergency preparedness plans in the wake of the horrific evacuation of nearly 850 nursing home residents to an old pesticide warehouse for Hurricane Ida. The Senate will now take up the proposal. House Bill 291, by […]

Louisiana House of Representatives

Proposed Louisiana budget includes at least $650 million with no specific purpose

By: - April 23, 2022

The Louisiana House moved a budget package Thursday that gives K-12 public teachers and university faculty members pay raises. It also leaves hundreds of millions of public dollars with no specific spending purpose.