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.

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.

Louisiana lawmakers dazed and confused over medical marijuana research

Louisiana considers prison time for modest marijuana possession again – but only for minors

By: - March 28, 2022

Louisiana lawmakers may put incarceration back on the table for possession of modest amounts of marijuana, but only for children and teenagers under age 18. Adults would still be able to avoid prison time if caught with marijuana joints, even for repeat offenses. Rep. Larry Bagley, R-Stonewall, is seeking to modify the state’s sweeping marijuana […]

Louisiana Republicans face thin margins to override governor’s congressional map veto

By: - March 25, 2022

The Louisiana Legislature is all but certain to have a veto override session starting Wednesday. What Republican leaders don’t know is whether they have enough votes to overturn Gov. John Bel Edwards’ rejection and put their version of Louisiana’s congressional map into place. Two-thirds of the Louisiana Senate and House each must vote in favor […]

Royce Duplessis, Jerome Zeringue

Louisiana may prohibit release of mug shots before conviction

By: - March 23, 2022

The Louisiana Legislature is considering a ban on the release of almost all police mug shots unless a person is convicted of a crime. 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 photographs law enforcement takes […]

Louisiana prison officials push for air conditioning after fighting lawsuit

By: - March 22, 2022

The head of Louisiana’s prison system is pushing state lawmakers for funding to install air conditioning at its facilities statewide to make it easier to retain correctional officers. None of the seven prisons in the system have air conditioning for prisoner dormitories. “Staffing is a real concern for us. That’s our top challenge,” Jimmy LeBlanc, […]

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

Louisiana House Speaker has 5 candidates to lead criminal justice committee

By: - March 21, 2022

Louisiana House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, said last week that he plans to interview five lawmakers who want to take over as head of a committee that writes criminal law policy, though he declined to say when the job will be filled.  Those under consideration for chairman of the House Committee on the Administration of […]

‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill in Louisiana Legislature would ‘isolate’ LGBTQ students, critic says

By: and - March 18, 2022

A bill that would bar teachers from discussing sexual orientation in the classroom, has been filed in the Louisiana Legislature. It follows similar efforts in Florida and more than a dozen other states referred to as “Don’t Say Gay” proposals.

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

Louisiana House Speaker not on board with governor’s $500 million bridge plan

By: - March 18, 2022

Louisiana House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, said Thursday that he would only support the governor’s plan to put $500 million toward a new Mississippi River bridge in the Baton Rouge area this year, if the state picks the bridge’s location before the state budget is finalized in June – a timeline transportation officials say is […]