Latest Louisiana State Legislature News

Former Vernon Parish state lawmaker and sheriff has died

Jul. 27, 2020 3:02 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Frank “Frankie” Howard, a former Louisiana state lawmaker and Vernon Parish sheriff, has died at age 81. Howard won election as a Republican member of the House of Representatives for three terms from 2008 through 2020. He was unable to run for reelection because of...

FILE -In this Monday, June 1, 2020, file photo, House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, speaks about the legislative session in Baton Rouge, La. Schexnayder is trying to stall an ongoing effort by his fellow Republicans to revoke Gov. John Bel Edwards’ coronavirus pandemic state of emergency. Schexnayder says an override would be a “grave decision with potentially dire consequences.” (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File)

Analysis: Virus heightens GOP divisions in Louisiana House

Jul. 26, 2020 4:00 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Republicans in the Louisiana House started the term divided over leadership, and the coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating, rather than soothing, those divisions. The latest fissure among GOP lawmakers in the chamber involves public sparring over whether to override Gov. John Bel...

FILE -In this Monday, June 1, 2020, file photo, House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, speaks about the legislative session in Baton Rouge, La. Schexnayder is trying to stall an ongoing effort by his fellow Republicans to revoke Gov. John Bel Edwards’ coronavirus pandemic state of emergency. Schexnayder says an override would be a “grave decision with potentially dire consequences.” (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File)

La. House speaker cautions against revoking virus emergency

Jul. 17, 2020 4:58 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — House Speaker Clay Schexnayder sought Friday to stall an ongoing effort by his fellow Republicans to revoke Gov. John Bel Edwards' coronavirus pandemic state of emergency, saying an override would be a “grave decision with potentially dire consequences.” Schexnayder...

House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, right, speaks about the legislative session with Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, left, on Monday, June 1, 2020, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

Edwards signs new lawsuits limits sought by business lobby

Jul. 16, 2020 3:29 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed the business lobby's main priority of the last election cycle into law, changes to Louisiana's civil litigation rules aimed at lessening the money people can win against insurance companies and businesses in car accident lawsuits. The bill signing...

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks to reporters at a briefing on the state's efforts against the coronavirus pandemic in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, May 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Edwards signs business tax breaks passed in special session

Jul. 15, 2020 11:37 AM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Though he had worried about the drain on Louisiana's treasury, Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed into law the full multimillion-dollar package of business tax breaks that lawmakers passed in their June special session as a coronavirus recovery effort. The Democratic governor agreed...

Probation for ex-state senator who lied to federal agency

Jul. 14, 2020 2:25 PM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former Louisiana state senator was sentenced Tuesday to four years of probation for lying to a federal agency about a hurricane recovery loan. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans says Wesley Bishop, 52, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Guidry. Bishop pleaded...

A boarded business is seen boarded up on Bourbon Street, usually bustling with tourists and revelers, in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Thursday, March 19, 2020. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell have ordered all restaurants and bars to close except for takeout, and asked residents to remain home and maintain social distancing from others when outside, due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Louisiana workers can file Wednesday for $250 hazard payment

Jul. 13, 2020 7:04 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana will start accepting applications Wednesday for a $250 one-time payment offered to front-line employees who checked out grocery customers, worked at nursing homes and performed other essential tasks in the earliest days of the coronavirus pandemic. The Department of...

Sen. Mike Fesi, R-Houma, standing, speaks with Sen. Louie Bernard, R-Natchitoches, on the Senate floor in the final hours of Louisiana's special legislative session, on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte) (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

Analysis: Jarring introduction for Louisiana's new lawmakers

Jul. 12, 2020 4:00 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Talk about a rough introduction to the Louisiana Legislature. Louisiana's freshman class of new lawmakers, who took office in January, got little of the glad-handing, party-hopping slow start that traditionally kicks off a regular legislative session. Instead, Gov. John Bel Edwards...

People line up at the Covid-19 testing site at LSU's Alex Box Stadium parking lot, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in Baton Rouge, La. (Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP)

Louisiana governor, lawmakers oppose canceling school sports

Jul. 9, 2020 1:53 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Despite Louisiana's surging coronavirus outbreak, Gov. John Bel Edwards and a majority of state House members oppose a state senator's call for the cancellation of public school athletics this fall. Edwards said Senate Education Chairman Cleo Fields' push to suspend K-12 athletic...

Edwards agrees to protect schools from most virus lawsuits

Jul. 8, 2020 7:03 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's K-12 schools and colleges will be shielded from most civil lawsuits if a student or teacher contracts the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus under a bill that Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law Wednesday. Lawmakers agreed in the special session that ended June...