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.

Rape survivors in Louisiana closer to gaining access to their written medical records

By: - April 21, 2022

With no opposition, committees in the Louisiana Legislature moved forward two bills Wednesday that would guarantee sexual assault survivors access to their written medical records. The House Judiciary Committee advanced House Bill 313 from Rep. Thomas Pressly, R-Shreveport, which guarantees victims access to their written forensic medical exam report at no cost. The bill also […]

Nursing Home Scandal

Edwards administration scraps proposal for secret nursing home reports

By: - April 21, 2022

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration has pulled a proposal that would require nursing homes to submit reports on their emergency responses to natural disasters after it faced criticism for suggesting a secretive review process.  The Edwards administration had initially recommended those nursing home “after-event” reports be shielded from public release, but it dropped the obligation […]

Auto insurance rates climb despite Louisiana’s new tort reform law

Louisiana lawmakers initial budget plan leaves Mississippi River bridge funding up in the air

By: - April 18, 2022

The Louisiana Legislature’s Republican leadership on Monday unveiled its tentative $44 billion budget plan outlining how it intends to spend the unprecedented amount of money available to the state, though a high-profile section of the proposal was left unfinished.

Louisiana’s high fees, cumbersome process for expungement could be curbed

By: - April 15, 2022

Louisiana legislators are considering automating a large portion of the state’s criminal record expungement system again. It’s a move that could allow thousands to scuttle old arrests and convictions that proponents of the change say prevent them from getting better-paying jobs.  The House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice on Wednesday forwarded House Bill […]

Bob Dean Warehouse

Louisiana lawmakers look to assign responsibility for nursing home evacuation plans

By: - April 14, 2022

Louisiana edged closer Tuesday to assigning responsibility for nursing home emergency plans to a specific state agency and closing a regulatory loophole that may have contributed to the horrific evacuation of over 800 nursing home residents to an old pesticide warehouse last year. The House Health and Welfare Committee moved forward House Bill 291 to […]

Louisiana lawmakers consider more restrictions for abortion pill

By: - April 12, 2022

Senate Bill 388, sponsored by Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, is part of a national anti-abortion push to prohibit medical staff from prescribing abortion pills online or over the phone and then sending the pills through the mail.

Nursing Home Scandal

Private reports from Louisiana nursing homes would allow industry to be ‘candid,’ official says

By: - April 12, 2022

Louisiana officials are pushing a secretive process for nursing home evacuation reviews because they believe the process will allow the facilities to be frank with the state about how their emergency plans fare in the face of natural disasters.  “The after-event reports are recommended as exempt from public records law to ensure that facilities are […]

Bob Dean Warehouse

Louisiana officials propose secretive review process for nursing home hurricane plans

By: - April 10, 2022

The proposal from Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration to tighten up rules for nursing home hurricane evacuations would prohibit state records about how well those plans are executed from being released publicly. Officials who work under Edwards helped craft House Bill 933 in response to the horrific evacuation of seven southeast Louisiana nursing homes to […]

Special redistricting session appears on after 5th Circuit removes stay

Louisiana considers removing political party affiliation for judges’ elections

By: - April 6, 2022

Louisiana might prohibit political party affiliation from being listed next to judicial candidates on election ballots if legislation from Rep. Kyle Green, D-Marrero, gets passed into law. The Louisiana House Committee on House and Governmental Affairs voted 9-3 Wednesday in favor of Green’s House Bill 206. Democrats and Republicans supported the proposal that now heads […]

Royce Duplessis

Louisiana House votes to prohibit release of most mug shots before conviction

By: - April 5, 2022

The Louisiana House of Representatives voted 75-21 Tuesday to ban the release of almost all police mug shots until a person is convicted of a crime. If approved, the proposed restriction could impact the way media reports on arrests throughout the state. House Bill 729, sponsored by Rep. Royce Duplessis, D-New Orleans, would remove most […]

Bob Dean Warehouse

Louisiana lawmakers promise nursing home reform, but produce few proposals

By: - April 5, 2022

The failure to protect nursing home residents from the squalid conditions of an evacuation center staged in an old pesticide warehouse in Tangipahoa Parish was arguably the biggest scandal from Hurricane Ida. State health officials were eventually forced to rescue hundreds of elderly and medically fragile people from the site, and several died in the […]

Term limits for Louisiana tax assessors moves forward in Legislature

Law firm has charged Louisiana Legislature $78,000 for ‘redistricting advice’ so far

By: - March 31, 2022

An out-of-state law firm has charged the Louisiana Legislature $78,081 for providing “redistricting advice,” according to an invoice released Thursday after a public records request. It’s unclear when the law firm performed the work and what type of services it provided.