Economic Justice

A photo illustration of Rapides Parish Assessor Rick Ducote superimposed

Rapides assessor adjusts some property values for elected officials; repercussions limited

BY: and - May 21, 2023

ALEXANDRIA — Rapides Parish Assessor Rick Ducote has updated some of his numbers after the Illuminator published an investigation that revealed he assigned super low property values for multiple elected officials, resulting in minimal tax obligations — and even tax bills totaling zero in some cases.  Sheriff Mark Wood, for example, has been billed $0 […]

Steam escapes from three cooling towers at Southern Company's Plant Bowen power generation facility.

In the Southeast, where big utilities rule, calls for a real power market persist

BY: - May 6, 2023

A report prepared for the South Carolina state legislature and released last week determined that a range of electric market and transmission reforms — including creating a new independent organization to run the electric grid or joining an existing one — would bring  “substantial benefits” for customers, potentially as much as $362 million a year. […]

Republicans kill $10 minimum wage proposal for Louisiana

BY: - May 4, 2023

Republican lawmakers on a state House panel killed a measure that would have established a $10 per hour minimum wage in Louisiana and increased to $14 by 2028.  House Bill 374, sponsored by Rep. Ed Larvadain, D-Alexandria, failed to pass the House Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations in a 5-9 vote along party lines […]

A variety of fresh vegetables are displayed on the produce shelves in a grocery store.

Struggle to attract grocers results in food apartheid for New Orleans

BY: - April 13, 2023

NEW ORLEANS —  Before Hurricane Katrina, about 5,000 households called the Lower 9th Ward home. Today, less than half of that number resides in the neighborhood. Most work in tourist-driven industries — restaurants, hotels and retail — where jobs are readily available but often lower-paying. There are no chain supermarkets in the Lower 9th Ward, […]

Eye doctors’ group mooched off state optometry board for 7 years, audit finds

BY: - March 16, 2023

A state audit released Wednesday details how the Louisiana State Board of Optometry Examiners (LSBOE) allowed a private optometrist organization to use public resources for years in a potential violation of state law. Records from the board blame its former secretary for mingling state money with the private group’s funds and approving his own license […]

The flags of Arkansas and the United States fly in front of the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock.

Arkansas bill to remove work permit requirement for children under 16 goes to Sanders’ desk

BY: - March 4, 2023

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – A proposed Arkansas law that would remove the requirement for children under 16 to prove their age to get a job will head to Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ desk for approval. House Bill 1410, or the Youth Hiring Act, would delete the portion of existing law that requires an employment certificate […]

Albert Naquin, traditional chief of the Jean Charles Choctaw Nation.

Louisiana tribal task force can’t agree on recognition rules

BY: - March 1, 2023

The Task Force on State Recognition of Indian Tribes met Wednesday for the last time without establishing any set criteria for recognizing tribes in Louisiana. House Bill 660 established the Native American Commission in 2018 to promote Native American culture and identify needs facing that community. One member from each of the 15 tribes already […]

Arnetta Harris sits in the waiting room of the Housing Authority of New Orleans headquarters

In tough rental market, the clock runs out for one Section 8 tenant

BY: - February 28, 2023

NEW ORLEANS – On Valentine’s Day, Arnetta Harris walked into the lobby of the Housing Authority of New Orleans, where mostly empty rows of chairs faced a television airing local news segments on long-married couples and Carnival festivities. Harris wasn’t in the mood for celebration. She was busy thinking about other things, namely money. She […]

A grocery store employee scans a bag of flour at the checkout line

Families are taking a hit as pandemic aid ends, inflation continues

BY: - February 26, 2023

Forty million people in the U.S. are having difficulty affording household expenses, and a little more than 25 million people say they sometimes or often do not have enough to eat, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent Household Pulse survey data.  The survey is designed to collect data on household experiences during the […]

People gather together in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to ask the McDonald’s corporation to raise workers wages to a $15 minimum wage

Child poverty rates highest in states that haven’t raised minimum wage

BY: - December 23, 2022

Of the 20 states that have failed to raise the minimum wage above the federal $7.25 an hour standard, 16 have more than 12% of their children living in poverty, according to a States Newsroom analysis of wage and poverty data. Anti-poverty advocates say that’s a sign that there’s an urgent need for lawmakers to […]


Congress knows how to slash child poverty. It just needs to do it.

BY: - November 25, 2022

If you could prevent millions of children from falling back into poverty, would you? Most of us, I imagine, would answer “yes” without hesitation. But not Congress. For nearly a year, lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have dithered as the policy directly responsible for a dramatic decline in poverty last year lapsed. It’s time for Congress […]

Black families fall further behind nationally on homeownership

BY: - October 26, 2022

Some cities and states are trying to boost Black homeownership, which dropped to a 60-year low even before the economic turmoil wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Black homeownership fell in 2019 to 40.6%, down from the 2004 peak of 49.7%. The rate has rebounded somewhat since then, but advocates remain dismayed at how, decades after […]