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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 […]

Pandemic said to widen already existing racial disparities in Louisiana schools

BY: - June 26, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has noticeably widened the educational gap between white students and Black and Hispanic students, a new study says. In a scenario that assumes a “virus resurgence” where in-school instruction does not fully resume before January 2021, research firm McKinsey & Co. estimates that Hispanic students will have experienced more than nine months […]

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 […]

Louisiana Department of Education releases guidelines on reopening K-12 schools

BY: - June 25, 2020

School systems should prepare for at least three possible scenarios when returning to school this fall: traditional, hybrid and virtual, according to guidelines on the reopening of K-12 schools the Louisiana Department of Education released Thursday morning. The document defines a traditional setting as one where students return to a typical classroom setting with safety […]

State superintendent and health director to discuss re-opening schools

BY: - June 24, 2020

Louisiana State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley and Department of Health Secretary Courtney Phillips will participate in a public discussion 6 p.m. Thursday about the state’s plans, guidelines and guidance related to the reopening of K-12 schools. In response to a question at his Monday afternoon news conference, Gov. John Bel Edwards said, “It is our […]

Emissions data from LSU serves reality check to Climate Task Force

Louisiana plants claim COVID-19 makes it impossible to monitor pollution

BY: - June 24, 2020

Across Louisiana, people who live in the communities surrounding industrial facilities have often complained that pollution from those plants is responsible for their elevated rates of cancer and respiratory illnesses.  And people with weakened immune systems and trouble breathing are particularly vulnerable during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  However, oil refineries and other industrial facilities are […]

Washington unites for the Great American Outdoors Act, Louisiana against

BY: - June 24, 2020

The U.S. Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act June 17, a significant piece of legislation that permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund and addresses the backlog of maintenance projects at national parks and other federally-owned land. Although there are very few bills that bring Republicans and Democrats together, with 73 senators for […]

Board of Commerce and Industry considers millions in property tax exemptions Wednesday

BY: - June 23, 2020

Louisiana’s Board of Commerce and Industry meets Wednesday, June 24, for the third of six regular meetings it has scheduled for 2020. The 24-member board will be considering tax exemption requests worth millions of dollars annually from various industries across the state. Some of the industries appearing before the commerce board will be seeking exemptions […]

Louisiana inmate taking out the trash

Coronavirus complicates Louisiana’s use of prison labor

BY: - June 23, 2020

As COVID-19 spread across Louisiana, the state’s prison system shut down educational programs, stopped in-person visits from family, eliminated face-to-face religious services and suspended meetings between inmates and attorneys. But thousands of inmates have continued to be sent to work even as those restrictions on the other parts of their lives were imposed. Louisiana uses […]

LSU Board of Supervisors removes Troy H. Middleton’s name from LSU’s main library

BY: - June 23, 2020

Exquisite Wlliams did not have much hope that her June 6 petition to remove Troy H. Middleton’s name from LSU’s main library would accomplish anything. Middleton served as LSU president from 1951 to 1962 and, even as the civil rights movement pushed the country forward, he remained a staunch advocate for segregationist policies. “We were […]