Author

Wesley Muller

Wesley Muller

Wes Muller traces his journalism roots back to 1997 when, at age 13, he built and launched a hyper-local news website for his New Orleans neighborhood. In the years since then, he has freelanced for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and worked on staff at the Sun Herald in Biloxi, WAFB-9News CBS in Baton Rouge, and the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, Mississippi. He also taught English as an adjunct instructor at Baton Rouge Community College. Much of his journalism has involved reporting on First Amendment issues and coverage of municipal and state government. He has received recognitions including McClatchy's National President's Award, the Associated Press Freedom of Information Award, and the Daniel M. Phillips Freedom of Information Award from the Mississippi Press Association, among others. Muller is a New Orleans native, a Jesuit High School alumnus, a University of New Orleans alumnus and a veteran U.S. Army paratrooper. He lives in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, with his two sons and his wife, who is also a journalist.

Louisiana moves to give local government control of industry tax breaks

Bill passes offering $48 million in tax breaks to oil and gas industry

By: - October 22, 2020

The Louisiana Legislature passed a bill Wednesday that would give an estimated $48 million in tax exemptions to the oil and gas industry. House Bill 29, introduced by Rep. Phillip DeVillier, R-Eunice, would suspend a 12.5 percent severance tax that companies pay on oil and gas extracted from abandoned orphan wells, newly-drilled wells, or old […]

House passes qualified immunity bill

House passes bill that would codify clergy’s right to visit nursing homes

By: and - October 21, 2020

The Louisiana House passed a bill Wednesday morning that would prevent the state health department from restricting members of the clergy from visiting patients in nursing homes and other healthcare facilities during public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the clergy have been able to visit nursing homes since the early days […]

Tax-swap package now left to Louisiana voters

Legislation approved to stop drops in unemployment benefits

By: - October 20, 2020

Thanks to new legislation that passed both chambers of the Louisiana Legislature, weekly unemployment benefits for laid-off workers will remain at current rates, and businesses will not be subjected to a tax hike to replenish the state’s depleted unemployment trust fund. Lawmakers approved Senate Concurrent Resolutions 5 and 9, which stop unemployment benefits from decreasing […]

Sharon Hewitt

Bill is overhauled to streamline emergency election plans and expand early voting

By: - October 20, 2020

A bill that initially would have removed the governor’s power to veto emergency election plans underwent wholesale changes Tuesday with an amendment that would retain the governor’s veto power and streamline the process Louisiana uses to provide special accommodations for voters during an emergency. The bill also seeks to expand early voting locations. With no […]

House passes qualified immunity bill

Bill to prohibit schools from giving names of contagious students to health department stalls on House floor

By: - October 19, 2020

Louisiana House lawmakers spent much of Monday afternoon debating a bill that would prohibit schools from reporting the names of  students who have infectious diseases to the Louisiana Department of Health. After that debate, a sizable majority of the House members decided to redirect the bill back to the House Health & Welfare Committee. House […]

House labor committee rejects bill that would punish misclassification of employees

By: - October 16, 2020

House lawmakers on Thursday rejected a bill designed to prevent businesses from skirting state taxes by fraudulently misclassifying employees as independent contractors. House Bill 34, sponsored by Rep. Mandie Landry, D-New Orleans, sought to bring Louisiana in line with the rest of the country by allowing the Labor Department to fine businesses that fraudulently pay workers […]

Pastor could avoid criminal charges if resolution passes

Lawmaker who attends Tony Spell’s church pushes bill through House that favors the defiant pastor

By: - October 14, 2020

Louisiana House lawmakers on Tuesday passed a bill that was originally crafted to support a Louisiana church pastor who dared authorities to arrest him when he publicly and repeatedly violated the state’s COVID-19 restrictions; however, legislators amended the bill by replacing virtually all of the text with new language that would prevent an emergency public […]

Over a half-million without electricity following Hurricane Delta

By: - October 10, 2020

More than a half-million were without electricity Saturday after Hurricane Delta slammed Southwest Louisiana — an area that had been trying to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Laura just over a month ago. In two press conferences Saturday, Gov. John Bel Edwards gave updates on the state’s recovery efforts, which he said are focused […]

Jeff Landry sues ULM med school over vaccine mandate

Louisiana attorney general blocked millions in grant money awarded to parish clerks

By: - October 9, 2020

Parishes across Louisiana, including those devastated by Hurricane Laura, were forced to reject millions in grant money from a nonprofit tech organization after Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry told the officials it was illegal for them to use grant money on election expenses. Although Landry insists accepting the money is already illegal, GOP lawmakers are […]

Hurricane Delta moves toward Louisiana

By: - October 7, 2020

The National Weather Service in New Orleans has predicted Hurricane Delta to make landfall in South Louisiana Friday as a Category 3 storm. Although Delta reached Category 4 strength on Tuesday, it weakened as it struck the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico Wednesday morning and was later downgraded to a Category 2 in the afternoon. Nevertheless, […]

Louisiana Capitol Building

Multiple tax-cut bills pass the Louisiana House Tuesday

By: - October 7, 2020

The Louisiana House of Representatives passed several tax bills Tuesday including one that gives $157 million in tax breaks to oil companies, another that establishes a state sales-tax holiday and a third that offers a modest income tax credit to residents who pay for tutoring for college students taking classes online. House Bill 29, filed […]

House passes qualified immunity bill

Lawmakers vote to give $157 million to oil companies and bypass school boards

By: - October 6, 2020

A Louisiana House of Representatives Committee narrowly passed a bill Monday that muddies the state’s corporate tax exemption laws by creating a potential loophole that could allow companies to bypass some local entities when seeking property tax credits. Furthermore, in a separate bill, the same lawmakers voted to give away $157 million in additional tax credits […]