In A Flash

John Bel Edwards travels to California for Louisiana trial lawyers meeting

By: - June 20, 2022 7:11 pm
John Bel Edwards

Gov. John Bel Edwards (Greg LaRose/Louisiana Illuminator)

Gov. John Bel Edwards left Sunday for a five-day trip to Carmel, California, to attend a conference put on by the Louisiana Association for Justice, a trial lawyers organization.

Edwards’ office said the excursion is a “personal trip” and the state is not covering the cost of the governor’s travel. His political action committee, John Bel Edwards for Louisiana Leadership, is paying for it. 

The governor has a Louisiana State Police security detail that travels with him. Even if the state isn’t covering Edwards’ bill, public funding will be used to pay for his troopers’ travel expenses and overtime during the trip. 

The event that Edwards is attending has been described on the association’s website as a “post-legislative conference” where the organization is offering continuing legal education. Attorneys, including Edwards, must take continuing legal education courses in order to keep their law licenses.

The governor is participating in some of the conference’s panels, including one on political redistricting, according to his office. 

Other panel topics include the Legislature’s updates to election laws and torts, according to a schedule on the association’s website. Sen. Jay Luneau, D-Alexandria, is leading a discussion on labor law and workers’ compensation. 

There are also scheduled “legislative updates” from the Louisiana Senate and House, though it’s not clear who is providing that information. 

The conference is taking place at the Carmel Valley Ranch, a luxury resort and golf course.

Clarification: The governor’s office previously said his political nonprofit, A Stronger Louisiana, was paying for the trip.  They later clarified that his political action committee, John Bel Edwards for Louisiana Leadership, paid for his travel. 

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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 | 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.