Julie O'Donoghue

Julie O'Donoghue

Julie O’Donoghue is a senior reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator. She’s received awards from the Virginia Press Association and Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press.

Democrat Shawn Wilson

Louisiana now has a prominent Democratic candidate in the governor’s race: Shawn Wilson

By: - March 6, 2023

Former Louisiana Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson became the only major Democratic candidate to enter the governor’s race Monday, emphasizing his record of working in a bipartisan manner to build roads and bridges across the state.  “We will always face obstacles. To overcome them requires leaders that will work with everyone, at all levels of government, […]

GOP governor candidates Sharon Hewitt Jeff Landry, Richard Nelson and John Schroder

3 talking points from Louisiana’s Republican governor candidates

By: - March 3, 2023

At this early stage in the governor’s race, the four announced Republican gubernatorial candidates are hitting on similar campaign messages, though offering few specifics about what they would do as governor to solve the state’s problems. State Sen. Sharon Hewitt, Attorney General Jeff Landry, state Rep. Richard Nelson and Treasurer John Schroder appeared at the Louisiana […]

An aerial view of Amsterdam at dusk

Emails show governor’s Europe trip raised staffing, itinerary questions

By: - March 2, 2023

Editor’s note: This is the second of two stories that looks into what state officials spent on two European trips last year. Read the first story here. Ahead of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ 10-day mission to France and the Netherlands last August, one state government employee raised questions about whether her agency should be paying […]

A hospital with doctors surrounding a patient

How Medicaid recipients can update their contact information

By: - March 1, 2023

Medicaid recipients who want to avoid losing their health insurance coverage should make sure they update their contact information with the Louisiana Department of Health or their Medicaid provider. The state will start a massive Medicaid disenrollment process in April, when federal COVID-19 pandemic protections for Medicaid recipients begin to wane. Louisiana estimates approximately 280,000 […]

The Saints football team comes onto the field in London.

Louisiana officials spent $12,300 on tickets for Saints game in London

By: - March 1, 2023

Editor’s note: This is the first of two stories that looks into what state officials spent on two European trips last year. Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration spent $12,305 of state money on premium seating at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the Saints-Vikings football game in London last year.  Nineteen people attended the game using public […]

Dustin Granger

Dustin Granger enters Louisiana treasurer race as Democratic candidate

By: - February 28, 2023

Personal financial adviser Dustin Granger of Lake Charles became the first Democrat to enter the Louisiana treasurer’s race Tuesday, emphasizing state government should shift away from favoring oil and gas investments and diversify its financial portfolio. “We have been making bad investment decisions for far too long,” Granger said in an interview. “There are so […]

A healthcare professional wearing personal protective garments stands in a hospital corridor

With pandemic protections ending, Louisiana will reach out to every Medicaid enrollee

By: - February 27, 2023

Louisiana will send letters next month to all of the state’s 2 million Medicaid enrollees in an attempt to verify their contact information ahead of a massive Medicaid disenrollment process that will take place over the next year.  Louisiana estimates it will be dropping between 280,000 and 350,000 people from Medicaid over the next 12 […]

Governor John Bel Edwards

Louisiana governor proposes increasing minimum wage for state workers

By: - February 25, 2023

After years of failing to convince lawmakers to raise the minimum wage for all Louisiana residents, Gov. John Bel Edwards may have to settle for raising it for just state government employees. The Democratic governor is proposing the state spend $33 million in the next budget cycle to make sure every state employee – including […]

The Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana will make state government salaries available to the public

By: - February 21, 2023

Louisiana intends to make the salaries of state government employees available through a new, searchable database that will go public some time in the next two weeks. Gov. John Bel Edwards’ budget chief, Jay Dardenne, on Friday said the state is still working out one or two kinks in the database, but it should become […]

Gov. John Bel Edwards addresses an audience at the Andrew P. Sanchez Multi-Service Center in New Orleans

K-12 teacher, college faculty pay raises proposed in next Louisiana budget

By: - February 17, 2023

Gov. John Bel Edwards wants to put a portion of Louisiana’s $2.2 billion in better-than-expected revenue toward K-12 teacher and higher education faculty pay raises that would take effect July 1. The governor is also proposing to use the extra money for transportation projects, higher education initiatives, paying off disaster-related federal debt and state building […]

A gun rack with rifles is displayed at a weapons retailer.

Louisiana may exclude more banks from state business over guns, energy policy

By: - February 17, 2023

The Louisiana State Bond Commission might further limit the state’s business with large banks based on their dealings with gun manufacturers and energy companies. Critics fear such a restriction could cost taxpayers more money by limiting competition for the state’s banking business.  Bond commission members intend to interview representatives from a handful of banks next […]

Gov. John Bel Edwards

Louisiana governor says stricter enforcement on THC products, law change may be coming

By: - February 14, 2023

Gov. John Bel Edwards said Louisiana residents will see a government clampdown on unregulated THC products that can cause a person to get high. The governor and legislators may also seek to tweak a related law about hemp products during the Louisiana Legislature’s spring session.  “I’m not one who favors legalizing marijuana and I don’t […]