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Louisiana Illuminator

Louisiana Illuminator

The Louisiana Illuminator is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization driven by its mission to cast light on how decisions are made in Baton Rouge and how they affect the lives of everyday Louisianians, particularly those who are poor or otherwise marginalized.

Richard Nelson

Lawmaker will try again to hold back struggling readers at third grade

By: - August 22, 2022

A Louisiana lawmaker plans to make another attempt to stop the promotion of third-graders who repeatedly fail reading assessments. Rep. Richard Nelson, R-Mandeville, said he will bring back a bill that narrowly failed this year after the latest LEAP test results show a continued decline in reading scores.  “Much has been written about Louisiana’s literacy […]

Data show racial disparities in Louisiana monkeypox cases

By: - August 18, 2022

Health officials have examined demographic data on monkeypox cases in Louisiana and found six in every 10 cases have occurred among Black people. More than a quarter of diagnoses have been white, and 95% are male. As of Wednesday, 127 monkeypox cases have been confirmed in Louisiana since the first person was diagnosed July 7. […]

American Sign Language alphabet chart

Louisiana Special School District to replace superintendent

By: - July 25, 2022

The board that oversees the Louisiana Special School District (SSD) took action Monday to replace its superintendent. In a unanimous vote, the SSD Board of Directors “opted to go in a different direction with district leadership,” according to a statement. The ouster of superintendent Ernest Garrett III comes amid an investigation of his performance that […]

New sawmill to create 125 jobs in northwest Louisiana

By: - July 11, 2022

Construction officially started Monday on a new $110 million sawmill in Plain Dealing that its owner says will create 125 new jobs in the region. Gov. John Bel Edwards attended a ground breaking for the project that is expected to be completed in third-quarter 2023. The Teal-Jones Group, a company based in British Columbia, Canada, […]

Rep. Scott McKnight announces bid for state treasurer

By: - June 9, 2022

State Rep. Scott McKnight unofficially declared his candidacy Thursday for state treasurer in 2023.  The Republican from Baton Rouge has held the District 68 seat since 2019 and works with his family’s business, BXS Insurance. In a Facebook post, McKnight said he intended to continue to conservative practices of current Treasurer John Schroder and his […]

Memorial Hall at the Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana Capitol briefly evacuated after ‘unclaimed’ item found in rotunda

By: - May 12, 2022

The Louisiana State Capitol was briefly evacuated Wednesday after an “unclaimed” package or bag was found in Memorial Hall, commonly referred to as the rotunda. Lawmakers were in session when legislative leaders cleared both chambers. There were more people than usual at the Capitol on Thursday, when the House was scheduled to consider a bill […]

Louisiana Fire Marshal Butch Browning to retire May 15

By: - May 4, 2022

He has held the post longer than any predecessor, taking over in 2008 and serving through Bobby Jindal's for two terms six years under Edwards.

coronavirus

Poor Louisiana parishes have higher COVID-19 death rates than wealthier counties nationwide

By: - April 5, 2022

Data show people in the poorest parishes in Louisiana and comparable counties across the country saw higher COVID-19 death rates than wealthier areas, according to a report the Poor People's Campaign released Monday. 

Damaged homes in Chauvin, Louisiana, after Hurricane Ida

Nearly $250 million in spending unresolved in Louisiana’s storm response programs since 2008

By: - April 4, 2022

Officials say they have addressed most of the issues uncovered in the audits. But even with that high success rate, they $246 million in reimbursements to local governments over the past 14 years have not been verified to determine if the money was correctly spent or accurately calculated.   

John Bel Edwards Vaccine

Governor will let Louisiana’s COVID-19 public health emergency order lapse after two years

By: - March 14, 2022

Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday he will allow an order he signed two years ago declaring a public health emergency in Louisiana for the coronavirus to lapse Wednesday.

Voters lined up at a polling precinct

Audit gives Louisiana good marks on election integrity

By: - March 14, 2022

A review of Louisiana's election processes and procedures found that state officials follow practices to ensure the integrity of results when voters head to the polls.

Louisiana congressional district map

Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoes new Louisiana congressional map

By: - March 9, 2022

The map retained a majority of white voters in five of Louisiana's six congressional districts, despite Census data that show the state's Black population has increased to 33% since 2010.