Louisiana

Hurricane Laura Pummels Southwest Louisiana, Leaving Trail of Destruction

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | FBI to investigate Kenosha police shooting ... Florida could reinstate food stamp requirements ... Wyoming makes $250 million in budget cuts, including to health department.

Hurricane Laura Forecast to Become Category 4 Storm As Thousands Flee Gulf Coast Communities

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Family says Jacob Blake is paralyzed after being shot by Kenosha police … A state attorney general resigns … Maryland to audit unusual agency severance practices.

Governor Has Authority to Close Bars During Pandemic, Federal Judge Rules

A federal judge sided with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards in a lawsuit brought by 10 bar owners who argued that closing their businesses to prevent the spread of Covid-19 violated their constitutional rights.

Pets Are Testing Positive for Coronavirus

A dog in Louisiana is the eighth pet in the United States to test positive for the virus that causes Covid-19. It's unlikely that animals can transmit the virus to people, according to the CDC—but they can catch it from their owners.

Seven States Band Together to Purchase Rapid-Result Covid Tests

The compact, negotiated by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, aims to increase production of the tests, which can deliver results in less than a half hour.

States Let Law School Grads Work Without Taking the Bar Exam

Earlier this month, Louisiana cancelled the bar exam. This week the state became the fourth to enact "diploma privilege," allowing recent law school graduates to practice law without sitting for the three-day bar exam.

A Proposal to Exempt Schools from Civil Lawsuits if Students are Exposed to Covid-19 on Campus

A bill in Louisiana would shield K-12 schools, colleges and universities from many lawsuits from teachers and students who are exposed to the coronavirus on campus.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Restrictive Abortion Law

It was the first major abortion case heard by Supreme Court since the addition of two new conservative justices.

Saharan Dust Sweeps Into Gulf Coast Region

The atmospheric event isn’t uncommon, but this time the plume is unusually large. It could pose some health risks for people with preexisting respiratory conditions.

Contact Tracers Struggle to Get People to Answer Phones and Questions

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Shooting in Seattle's CHOP area … Chicago police records won’t be destroyed … Columbus ditches Columbus statue.

‘Double Whammy’: Oil Crash Adds to Virus Budget Woes in Some States

Alaska is dealing with some especially tough financial issues. In Louisiana, one lawmaker says: "It's just kind of the perfect storm with the coronavirus and the collapse of oil and gas."

‘There Could Be a Point Where I Say This Isn’t Worth It’: Two State Lawmakers Reflect On Their New Workplace Concerns

For some legislators, the coronavirus is raising questions about the environment where they work, from health precautions in Louisiana to armed protesters in Michigan.

Louisiana to Delay Presidential Primaries Due to Coronavirus Concerns

The move will make the state the first in the nation to delay elections as a result of the outbreak.

Supreme Court Takes Up Abortion Again With Major Louisiana Case

The high court struck down a nearly identical law in 2016, but some say that the court’s new conservative majority could allow a Louisiana law to stand.

The Human Cost of Missing Data in Prisons

COMMENTARY | Nowhere is good information about operations more critical than in prisons and jails. But too often states simply lack the kind of data that holds officials accountable.

How Louisiana Lawmakers Stop Residents’ Efforts to Fight Big Oil and Gas

Louisiana has pioneered ways for other states to discourage environmental protests around “critical infrastructure” projects. Much of it can be traced back to efforts by corporate lobbyists.

In “Cancer Alley,” Toxic Polluters Face Little Oversight From Environmental Regulators

Louisiana’s Department of Environmental Quality has been accused of protecting the chemical industry it regulates. The agency is facing cutbacks as new plants are slated for communities that already have some of the country’s most toxic air.

A Foster Care and Adoption Shift in a Southern State

Louisiana refocused its efforts on foster care and adoption four years ago. Today, adoption rates are up, particularly among sibling groups and older teens.

The States Where Public University Tuition Rates Rose the Most After Big Budget Cuts

Tuition rates at four-year public colleges climbed 37% over the last decade as states have slashed education funding.