Govt + Politics

Shreveport City Councilman flips positions on smoking ban

BY: - July 6, 2020

After the Shreveport City Council passed a comprehensive smoking ban scheduled to take effect in August, a councilman who previously supported the law now wants to exempt casinos for a year. A health advocate called his reversal a “slap in the face” to casino workers. The City Council first proposed a smoking ban around Memorial […]

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott requires residents to wear masks in public

BY: - July 2, 2020

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered residents of the state to wear masks in public Thursday, July 2. Abbott’s order takes effect Friday, July 3, at noon, and repeat offenders risk being fined $250. “Wearing a face covering in public is proven to be one of the most effective ways we have to slow the spread […]

Louisiana’s largest healthcare provider scales back community COVID-19 testing

BY: - July 2, 2020

Ochsner Health, Louisiana’s largest healthcare provider, will put new limitations on its community testing program for COVID-19 even as state health officials warn about a surge in new infections. The hospital system needs to preserve its testing capacity for hospital patients, said Dr. Sandra Kemmerly, the system medical director of hospital quality, in an interview […]

Will Louisiana require you to wear a face mask?

BY: - July 1, 2020

Following a steady rise in coronavirus cases, a new mandate requiring residents to wear face masks in public takes effect Wednesday in Jefferson Parish. Although positive tests for COVID-19 have been found in all 64 parishes, a statewide face mask mandate does not appear to be immediately forthcoming. Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng issued […]

Caddo Parish grand jury accuses 8 Shreveport police officers of using excessive force

BY: - June 30, 2020

A week after the Louisiana Legislature agreed to study police abuse in Louisiana, a grand jury in Caddo Parish handed up indictments against eight Shreveport police officers who booked two men on drug and weapons charges and running from the police Jan. 24. Caddo Parish District Attorney James E. Stewart said in a Tuesday press […]

Louisiana officials criticize Supreme Court’s rejection of state’s abortion restriction

BY: and - June 29, 2020

WASHINGTON — Louisiana officials decried a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday that struck down a state abortion law and vowed to keep fighting to restrict access to the procedure. At the same time, advocates for reproductive rights breathed a sigh of relief that abortion access won’t be further restricted in a state where only three […]

Roberts joins Supreme Court’s four liberal judges in striking down Louisiana abortion law

BY: - June 29, 2020

WASHINGTON — In a major victory for reproductive rights, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a controversial Louisiana law that critics said would have severely limited access to abortion in Louisiana and opened the door to further abortion limitations around the country. Enacted in 2014 by the Louisiana state Legislature, the law would have required physicians […]

House Democrats and 3 Republicans pass George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

BY: and - June 27, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed a sweeping police reform package Thursday night in response to massive civil unrest over police brutality. The package cleared the chamber largely along partisan lines, with 236 lawmakers (mostly Democrats) voting for it and 181 lawmakers (180 Republicans and one Independent) voting against it. Three Republicans sided with Democrats […]

Louisiana Capitol Building

Local public defenders budget reduced in Louisiana Senate proposal

BY: - June 26, 2020

Update: The Louisiana Senate reversed its initial reduction to local public defender offices when it approved the budget Friday afternoon. It moved back to the original public defender funding breakdown drawn up by the Louisiana House. The Legislature is expect to approve the final version of the total state operating budget by Tuesday. The new […]

State board gives 5 companies $140 million off next year’s property taxes

BY: - June 26, 2020

The Louisiana Board of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday approved tax breaks for multiple Louisiana companies worth more than $148 million next year alone under a program critics call “corporate welfare.” Wednesday’s meeting was the first time the board had met for a full agenda since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the state, and the members […]

Ted James

Louisiana Lawmakers support police study – as long as it doesn’t talk about George Floyd

BY: - June 25, 2020

The Louisiana Legislature overwhelmingly supports the study of policing tactics. Lawmakers appear likely to set up a new task force to examine law enforcement practices over the next year — with the goal of recommending legislation to change state policing laws in 2021. But White Republican lawmakers in the House haven’t wanted to link that […]

Cedric Richmond

Rep. Richmond slams Senate GOP’s ‘watered-down’ police reform bill

BY: and - June 25, 2020

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond — a leading voice on Capitol Hill for a major legislative overhaul that would address police brutality against people of color — backed his party’s efforts Wednesday to shut down debate on a GOP police reform bill. The bill — which Senate Democrats blocked in a procedural vote on […]