Trays of vegetables are placed along the serving line of a school cafeteria

More states line up to serve free school meals to all kids

BY: - May 27, 2023

During his long career as a high school teacher, New York state Sen. John Mannion often reached into his own pocket to cover the cost of lunches for kids who didn’t have the funds. “I watched kids get to the end of the line and not have enough money on their cards,” the Democrat said […]

Aerial view of Louisiana State Capitol building

Louisiana legislators are in agreement to give teachers $2,000 raise

BY: - May 26, 2023

Louisiana lawmakers appeared to have settled on giving public school teachers and other school staff $2,000 and $1,000 annual raises, respectively, legislators across the political spectrum said this week. Conservative House members said they are now willing to put a teacher pay raise directly into the state budget, removing the most significant opposition to doing […]

a syringe, pills and a vial of fentanyl

Fentanyl-related drugs permanently made criminal under bill passed by U.S. House

BY: - May 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers in the U.S. House passed bipartisan legislation Thursday in an effort to curb staggering overdose deaths from illegal fentanyl substances that are illicitly produced and up to 50 times stronger than heroin. The HALT Fentanyl Act, passed on a 289-133 vote with 74 Democratic votes and support from the Biden administration, would […]

Louisiana Republican Party chairman Louis Gurvich speaks to a crowd on the steps of the State Capitol

Far-right lawmaker, state GOP won’t accept trans youth healthcare ban’s defeat

BY: - May 25, 2023

In an act of political retribution, an ultra-conservative Louisiana lawmaker has attached an amendment to the bill of a fellow Republican who bucked the party line and voted to kill a proposed ban on gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth.  Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, proposed the amendment Thursday afternoon to Sen. Fred Mills legislation that seeks […]

A Minneapolis Police officer rolls up caution tape at a crime scene on June 16, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Crime tops worries of Louisiana residents, survey finds

BY: - May 25, 2023

Crime is the top concern for Louisiana residents for the first time in 20 years, according to an LSU survey released Tuesday. The Louisiana Survey, conducted by LSU’s Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs, shows that crime is the primary concern for about one-fifth of Louisiana residents, with 80% of those surveyed saying crime […]

State Rep. Raymond Crews stands at podium on House floor

Miscarriage certificates, similar to birth certificates, could soon be issued in Louisiana

BY: - May 24, 2023

Louisiana would start issuing “commemorative certificates” for miscarriages — documents that closely resemble birth certificates given out when babies are born — under legislation that looks likely to become law.  House Bill 457, sponsored by Rep. Raymond Crews, R-Bossier City, encourages doctors to tell people who lost pregnancies at 20 weeks or earlier that they […]

Louisiana ‘fix’ for lower reimbursement to sexual assault victims is close to approval

BY: - May 22, 2023

A bill to ensure victims of sexual assault can receive the same amount of public funding to cover their medical bills as all other crime victims is close to gaining full approval from the Louisiana Legislature. Senate Bill 169, from Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, is supposed to prevent the Louisiana Crime Victims Reparations Board from […]

A cardboard sign with "help" written on it is placed inside a shopping cart with a blanket and a shopping bag already inside

GOP’s desired work requirements for federal aid would kick roughly 21M from anti-poverty programs

BY: - May 20, 2023

Congressional Republicans’ efforts to slash federal spending by tying work requirements to Medicaid and SNAP would have far-reaching consequences for people with mental health issues, chronic health problems, and some people with disabilities if enacted, policy experts on anti-poverty programs say. They say the work requirements as laid out by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s “Limit, […]

Packages of Mifepristone tablets are displayed at a family planning clinic on April 13, 2023, in Rockville, Maryland.

Appeals court judges embrace anti-abortion speculation

BY: and - May 19, 2023

America’s major medical institutions and drug policy scholars have roundly denounced as “pseudoscience” many of the claims brought by anti-abortion groups in a high-profile federal lawsuit asking the Food and Drug Administration to revoke its 23-year-old approval of mifepristone, one half of a two-drug regimen that has become the most common form of pregnancy termination […]

Buds of marijuana on a prescription pad and inside a jar

Employee medical marijuana use protected in advancing proposal

BY: - May 18, 2023

The House Labor Committee advanced a bill Thursday that would protect employees who use medical marijuana from being disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits.  House Bill 351, sponsored by Rep. Mandie Landry, D-New Orleans, barely passed the committee on a 6-5 vote, with several committee members agreeing to support the bill based on Landry’s promise to […]

Volunteer escorts gather outside Delta Clinic in Baton Rouge

Lawmakers debate violence against abortion clinics, anti-abortion pregnancy centers

BY: - May 18, 2023

WASHINGTON — Republicans at a U.S. House hearing aired frustration with the Department of Justice this week for what they contended is a lack of enforcement of a Clinton-era law that protects access to reproductive health care at anti-abortion pregnancy centers and abortion clinics. GOP lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee expressed anger the Federal […]

Dr. Christina Francis, an OB-GYN from Fort Wayne, Indiana, and chair of the board of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, speaks in front of the 5th Circuit courthouse in New Orleans on May 17, 2023, following arguments on a case challenging FDA approval of the abortion pill.

Three-judge panel in U.S. appeals court hears arguments in abortion pill case

BY: and - May 17, 2023

NEW ORLEANS — A federal appeals court panel quizzed lawyers during oral arguments Wednesday over a Texas judge’s decision that could end access to the abortion pill nationwide. Observers see the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals as a legal way station for the case, in which anti-abortion groups sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, […]