Louisiana drivers may soon be ordered to keep their hands off their phones

BY: - May 19, 2021

Louisiana drivers may soon be prohibited from holding their phones as they drive. Rep. Mike Huval’s (R-Breaux Bridge) HB 565, which would prohibit drivers from “holding or physically supporting a wireless telecommunications device in either or both hands or with any part of the body” passed in the Louisiana House by a 76-21 vote. Currently, […]

A mob of pro-Trump supporters attack the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, 2020

U.S. House OKs commission to probe Capitol attack, but McConnell objections may doom it

BY: - May 19, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House voted Wednesday 252-175 to give the go-ahead to the formation of an independent, bipartisan commission that would investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, despite objections from Republican leaders that the scope of the commission was not wide enough and other investigations are ongoing. Thirty-five Republicans joined with Democrats in […]

DCFS would have to make family reunification an immediate priority according to proposed bill

BY: - May 19, 2021

A bill that would require the Department of Children and Family Services to thoroughly search for adult family members of recently-fostered children within 30 days of taking custody of them advanced without objection from the House Health and Welfare Committee Wednesday. The bill follows a July 2020 story in The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans […]

Legislature names 4 to Louisiana Ethics Board

Louisiana Legislature may erase ethics charges against groundwater regulators

BY: - May 19, 2021

The Louisiana Legislature is close to approving a bill that would allow employees of industrial companies to sit on the groundwater district commissions that oversee the drinking water those companies use for commercial operations. The legislation would also retroactively void ethics violations five Baton Rouge-area groundwater district commissioners face over conflicts of interest. The Senate […]

Not one usable vaccine so far out of Baltimore plant with multi-million-dollar federal contract

BY: - May 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — Angry U.S. House Democrats on Wednesday had one key question as they grilled executives of a Maryland biotech manufacturer forced to dump 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine: Has there been one usable vaccine dose produced as a result of the $271 million paid to date by the U.S. government? […]

Lawmakers override veto of concealed carry bill

Senator’s concealed gun bill advances in House

BY: - May 19, 2021

The Louisiana Senate’s “constitutional carry” bill, which would allow the carrying of a concealed gun without a permit, cleared the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee on Wednesday with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed. Sponsored by Sen. Jay Morris, R-West Monroe, Senate Bill 118 would allow people to freely carry a hidden gun without […]

House petition case: Governor asks court to stop GOP from interfering

Louisiana Supreme Court could gain 2 more seats

BY: - May 19, 2021

A bill that would change the number of Louisiana Supreme Court justices from seven to nine and require that each district be equal in population cleared a House and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday. Senate Bill 163, co-sponsored by Sen. Patrick McMath (R-Covington) and Sen. Jimmy Harris (D-New Orleans), is a proposed constitutional amendment that […]

For slavery remark, Rep. Ray Garofalo is removed as Louisiana House Education chair

BY: - May 18, 2021

After calls from the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus that he be removed as chair of the Louisiana House Education Committee, Rep. Ray Garofalo (R-Chalmette) has finally been removed from that position. Even so, Rep. Ted James, a Baton Rouge Democrat who serves as chair of the Black Caucus, told the Illuminator Tuesday evening that tensions […]

Medical marijuana prices soar in Louisiana due to regulatory bottleneck

Louisiana won’t legalize recreational marijuana this year

BY: - May 18, 2021

The push to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Louisiana died Tuesday, when the Louisiana House rejected legislation to tax recreational marijuana. The proposed tax needed 70 House votes — two-thirds of the chamber — to pass. It only got 47 votes.  After the tax bill failed, Rep. Richard Nelson, R-Mandeville, shelved a second, separate […]

A ‘bill of rights’ for Louisiana’s foster children moves closer to passage

BY: - May 18, 2021

Alliyah Zeren, now an adult, entered the foster care system in Louisiana at 13 years old “due to abuse and neglect within my own biological family,” she told lawmakers. Though she hoped for a more secure home life in foster care, Zeren said she was treated without dignity or respect by the system. Zeren is […]

Louisiana Senate supports college athletes making money from endorsements

BY: - May 18, 2021

Olivia Dunne, a star gymnast at LSU, began her freshman year in the fall with over a million followers on Instagram, which means, according to a report from a digital media-focused company called Cheq, she could make up to $250,000 per post. But by the current collegiate athletic rules, even if Dunne made money off […]

In Angola’s Oak 4 dormitory Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling douses hopes

BY: - May 18, 2021

The news spread quickly on Monday from the nation’s highest court to its largest maximum-security prison, the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. That morning, in the case Edwards v. Vannoy, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that its 2020 Ramos v. Louisiana decision — which held that the Sixth Amendment right to a unanimous jury applies […]