Govt + Politics

Gov. John Bel Edwards

Louisiana legislative leaders diverge on how much power they want over COVID-19 response

BY: - September 30, 2020

The Louisiana Legislature’s two Republican leaders — Senate President Page Cortez and House Speaker Clay Schexnayder — have both said they want to curb the governor’s powers during emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic. But they have put forward radically different approaches toward doing so. Cortez, of Lafayette, is sponsoring legislation that keeps the governor squarely […]

Louisiana’s COVID-19 restrictions too onerous, Republican lawmakers tell state health officials

BY: - September 30, 2020

Pushing back against Louisiana lawmakers who believe that the state’s continuing COVID-19 restrictions are disproportionate to the threat, Dr. Jimmy Guidry, state health officer for the Louisiana Department of Health spoke ominously Wednesday of infections yet to come:  “I predict there’s going to be another spike, and it’s going to be in flu season,  and […]

Sharon Hewitt

Bill that would block governor’s ability to veto emergency election plan passes committee

BY: - September 30, 2020

A state senate committee on Wednesday advanced a bill that would eliminate the governor’s veto power on proposed emergency election plans. Senate Bill 20, introduced by Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, would establish an “Emergency Election Commission” made up of eight legislators (at least two Republicans and two Democrats), the secretary of state, and the governor. Each […]

Census deadline extension means Louisiana has more time to be counted

BY: - September 30, 2020

Louisiana residents and residents throughout the country will have at least until Monday to respond to the 2020 Census — and maybe longer.  A federal judge in Northern California ruled last week that the U.S. Census Bureau must continue its counting operation through the end of October, but U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross — who […]

Trump and Biden quarrel over mask mandates and state shutdowns in first presidential debate

BY: - September 29, 2020

The two men vying to become the next president offered a stark contrast to voters on face mask requirements and on how soon state economies should reopen amid the pandemic, just two of many areas where they squabbled during Tuesday’s contentious and often chaotic first debate. The exchange between President Donald Trump and former Vice […]

Clay Schexnayder

Louisiana Republicans want power during health emergencies, but haven’t agreed on how much

BY: - September 29, 2020

The Louisiana Legislature’s Republican leadership came into their month-long special session this week in part to wrestle more control over the COVID-19 health crisis from the Democratic governor. But there isn’t consensus among them over how much of that power they actually want. Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, and House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, presented […]

Louisiana Capitol Building

Louisiana legislators postpone revenue estimating deadline to squeeze out another of unemployment benefits

BY: - September 29, 2020

Louisiana’s lawmakers are faced with a nearly-depleted unemployment trust fund and laws that trigger automatic tax hikes to replenish the fund. They’re also staring at a looming statutory deadline to estimate next year’s revenue. Faced with that dilemma, state legislators on Tuesday chose to move that statutory deadline to buy themselves more time and to maintain […]

LA election plan

Senate bill seeks to reduce governor’s power on election plans

BY: - September 29, 2020

A bill filed Monday by Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, seeks to remove the governor’s veto authority on any future emergency election plans approved by the Louisiana Legislature. Current state statute provides that the Secretary of State submits an emergency election plan to the Legislature. The Legislature then votes on it, and if it passes, the […]

Louisiana Lawmaker wants to make it more difficult to ‘Defund the Police’

BY: - September 29, 2020

State Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandria, has proposed legislation to withhold state construction dollars from higher education institutions and local governments who try to “defund the police”. If it became law, local governments and higher education institutions would be required to submit their law enforcement budgets to the Legislature’s joint budget committee by Nov. 30 each […]

White police chief in videotaped beating of Black man was never investigated for his role in attack

BY: - September 29, 2020

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Edwin Bergeron’s brother is on the civil service board. Although they share the same last name, they are not related. HAMMOND — Police Department internal affairs documents show Chief Edwin Bergeron was never investigated for the 2017 beating of Kentdrick Ratliff, undermining statements made by […]

Clay Schexnayder

Louisiana legislators want ‘a seat at the table’ when it comes to COVID-19 response

BY: - September 29, 2020

The Louisiana Legislature is looking for more of a say over the state’s emergency response as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on into its seventh month. Lawmakers returned to the state Capitol in Baton Rouge Monday evening (Sept. 28) for a special legislative session they organized without any input from Gov. John Bel Edwards.  House Speaker […]

Former Louisiana Gov. Mike Foster enters hospice

BY: - September 28, 2020

Former Louisiana Gov. Mike Foster, 90, has entered hospice care, according to multiple news reports.  Jeremy Alford, the publisher of LaPoliticsWeekly, tweeted Monday that Foster, the 53rd governor of the state, was a terminal patient and that members of his family “extend their continued gratitude for the prayers & well wishes.” Shortly thereafter, Gov. John […]