Piper Hutchinson

Piper Hutchinson

Piper Hutchinson is a reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator. She has covered the Legislature and state government extensively for the LSU Manship News Service and The Reveille, where she was named editor in chief for summer 2022.

John Stefanski

Harsher fentanyl sentences get Louisiana Senate approval in AG candidate’s bill

By: - June 4, 2023

Giving a major win to state Rep. John Stefanski in his quest to become the “tough-on-crime” attorney general, the Louisiana Senate gave final passage Sunday to his bill to majorly increase penalties for fentanyl possession.  Stefanski’s legislation, House Bill 90, was approved on a 32-4 vote, with Democratic Sens. Gerald Boudreaux of Lafayette, Royce Duplessis […]

A man looks at videos on his computer in the dark

Senate signs off on bill to punish porn websites that don’t verify user’s age

By: - June 4, 2023

The Louisiana Senate gave unanimous final passage Sunday to a bill that would let the state attorney general pursue civil penalties against companies that do not comply with a law that requires pornography websites to verify the age of its users.  House Bill 77, sponsored by Rep. Laurie Schlegel, R-Metairie, builds on a law that […]

military members marching

Bills to combat college costs for Louisiana veterans head to governor’s desk for approval

By: - June 4, 2023

The Louisiana Senate gave unanimous final passage to two bills Sunday to make college more affordable for military veterans.  Senators approved House Bill 485, sponsored by Rep. Ken Brass, D-Vacherie, to create the Louisiana National Guard Patriot Scholarship Program, which would cover the cost of mandatory college fees for Guard members. The bill is among […]

a Pride flag sits on a set of steps

On the first night of Pride month, Louisiana’s LGBTQ+ community copes with setbacks 

By: - June 4, 2023

Jeremy Longmire took a moment to stop pouring drinks at George’s Place, the popular Baton Rouge gay hangout he manages, to lean against the bar and shake his head at what the Louisiana Legislature did on the first day of Pride Month.  Earlier in the day, a mile up the road from George’s Place, the […]

A student at Ben Franklin High School in New Orleans holds a transgender Pride sign that reads My Joy equals Revolution during a walkout event at the school to mark Transgender Day of Visibility.

‘Zombie bill’ to ban trans youth healthcare advances from Louisiana Senate committee

By: - June 2, 2023

In a hurried, six-minute hearing Friday with no Democrats present, a Louisiana Senate committee advanced a ban on gender affirming healthcare for trans youth that had been shot down last week but revived in an unusual procedural move.  House Bill 648 by Rep. Gabe Firment, R-Pollock, is similar to proposals filed in at least 17 […]

A transgender Pride flag is covered with the words "Hands Off Trans Youth" at Washington Square Park, where hundreds people gathered for a march to mark Transgender Day of Visibility.

Ban on trans youth healthcare revived in Louisiana Senate

By: - June 1, 2023

On the first day of Pride month, the Louisiana Senate revived a proposed ban on gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth that was killed a week ago.  The Senate voted 26-12 to recommit House Bill 648 by Rep. Gabe Firment, R-Pollock, from the Health and Welfare Committee to the Judiciary A Committee, essentially reviving what was […]

Marchers walk through the French Quarter in New Orleans for Transgender Day of Visibility

‘Don’t Say Gay,’ pronoun restriction bills in Louisiana inch closer to final approval 

By: - June 1, 2023

A pair of anti-LGBTQ+ bills targeting young transgender and queer students were advanced Thursday from a state Senate committee, likely putting them just one step away from the governor’s desk for approval.  The Senate Education Committee passed both on party line 3-1 votes, with committee Chair Sen. Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge, being the sole vote […]

Representative Valarie Hodges speaks into a microphone

Louisiana community college leader blasts resolution requesting diversity spending report

By: - May 31, 2023

The president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System did not mince words Wednesday while testifying on a resolution that requested all public schools in the state — K-12 and colleges — submit reports on programs and activities related to diversity, equity and inclusion, critical race theory and social emotional learning.  “At its core, […]

The Memorial Tower on LSU's campus in Baton Rouge

House kills constitutional amendment to ensure representation on higher ed governing boards 

By: - May 30, 2023

The Louisiana House of Representatives killed a proposed constitutional amendment that would have ensured alumni from each school in the Southern and LSU systems have a seat on their respective boards of supervisors.  House Bill 400, sponsored by Rep. Cedric Glover, D-Shreveport, failed on a 51-49 vote. Because the bill would have put a constitutional […]

Danny McCormick speaks on the floor Tuesday, May 16, 2023, inside the State Capitol

Permitless firearm carry bill takes step forward in Louisiana Senate

By: - May 30, 2023

A Louisiana Senate Committee advanced a controversial bill Tuesday that would allow adults over the age of 21 to carry a concealed firearm without a license or training.  The Senate Judiciary B Committee signed off on House Bill 131 by Rep. Danny McCormick, R-Oil City, on a 4-1 vote, with committee Chair Sen. Gary Smith, […]

Louisiana Republican Party chairman Louis Gurvich speaks to a crowd on the steps of the State Capitol

Far-right lawmaker, state GOP won’t accept trans youth healthcare ban’s defeat

By: - May 25, 2023

In an act of political retribution, an ultra-conservative Louisiana lawmaker has attached an amendment to the bill of a fellow Republican who bucked the party line and voted to kill a proposed ban on gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth.  Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, proposed the amendment Thursday afternoon to Sen. Fred Mills legislation that seeks […]

The Memorial Tower on LSU's campus in Baton Rouge

Anti-tenure legislator backs off controversial bill to put tenure practices into law

By: - May 25, 2023

A proposal to place tenure policies for higher education faculty into Louisiana law is dead for the year after its author has decided not to pursue the legislation.  Sen. Stewart Cathey, R-Monroe, confirmed in an interview Senate Bill 174 is not going anywhere this session because he never requested a hearing for it in the […]