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PSC Chairman Clyde Holloway says he may not run for reelection this fall

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ -- Louisiana Public Service Commission Chairman Clyde Holloway, left, talks with Phillip R. May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, LLC,  at January 2015 opening ceremonies of Ninemile 6 facility in Westwego.

The state’s top utility regulator, Louisiana Public Service Commission Chairman Clyde Holloway, said in a prepared statement Wednesday morning that he may not seek reelection this fall. The 72-year-old former Republican congressman joined the PSC in 2009. He runs a plant nursery near his home in Forest Hill and injured his knee earlier this year. “I… Continue reading →

Medicaid expansion will provide more treatment to convicts, cancer patients, HIV sufferers

Thousands of Louisiana residents who don’t have health care coverage will start getting no-cost insurance Friday when the state’s new Medicaid expansion program takes effect. But several of the broad impacts — on populations that range from convicts serving time in prison to poor mothers who typically would lose coverage shortly after their children are born —… Continue reading →

Joe Donchess, nursing home chief, to retire in December

Joe Donchess

Joe Donchess, a powerful force around the State Capitol as head of the Louisiana Nursing Home Association, announced Tuesday he would retire at the end of the year. He has been the group’s executive director since 1986. The nonprofit represents more than 250 nursing facilities and assisted living communities. “His guidance, leadership and expertise have been… Continue reading →

Louisiana in for big changes, likely bumpy ride with Medicaid expansion; here's how we got here

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- Gov. John Bel Edwards and Dr. Rebekah Gee, DHH Secretary, center, listen to Linda Simms during a discussion on Medicaid expansion as Edwards and Gee met with new enrollees of the Medicaid expansion program prior to the June 1 enrollment start date.

Perhaps more than in any other state, the expansion of Medicaid to give thousands of Louisiana residents no-cost health insurance stands to have a profound effect on health care — whether it’s better or worse than the system already established to cover the needs of the poor. Louisiana on Friday is set to become the 31st state… Continue reading →

Gov. John Bel Edwards elected chair of Southern Regional Education Board

Gov. John Bel Edwards was elected Sunday as chair of the Southern Regional Education Board at the organization’s annual meeting. “As the new Chair of SREB, I am looking forward to elevating the dialogue in Louisiana and other member states around the importance of strengthening student learning and preparedness at every educational… Continue reading →

Think tanks: Louisiana’s future looks murky

Advocate staff photo by Travis Spradling -- The Louisiana State Capitol

After 19 weeks in session — the longest in the Louisiana Legislature’s history — much was accomplished, but the future remains precarious, or so sums up the thoughts of the big three Baton Rouge-based good-government think tanks. Steven Procopio, policy director at Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, told the Leaders With Vision 22nd Reality Check luncheon… Continue reading →

Trump campaign has paid $4.7M to one Louisiana-based business — much of that for hats

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Saturday, June 11, 2016 at a private hanger at Greater Pittsburgh International Airport in Moon, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Donald Trump’s campaign has been good news for at least one Louisiana-based business. According to the latest presidential campaign finance reports out this week, the presumptive Republican nominee’s campaign has plucked down $4.7 million on hats and T-shirts from Ace Specialties in Lafayette. That’s right. The now iconic “Make America Great Again” hats are… Continue reading →

Mitch Landrieu: Bolster local government to make America safer

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is calling on the federal government to invest in local resources and mental health services in the wake of the nation’s worst mass shooting. Landrieu, speaking to a group of health care reporters gathered in New Orleans on Wednesday, said he sees gun violence as a “public health threat” that has… Continue reading →

Governor Edwards declares June as ‘LGBT Pride Month’ in Louisiana

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- During a press conference, Gov. John Bel Edwards, left, answers questions about the regular legislative session that just ended Monday afternoon June 6, 2016. The regular legislative session ends and the second special convenes today.

Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared June as “LGBT Pride Month” in Louisiana — recognizing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people ahead of the annual gay rights pride march to the State Capitol. Edwards’ proclamation, which was first revealed on Twitter by the advocacy group Equality Louisiana, praises “the tireless dedication of advocates and allies… Continue reading →

Nearly 200K Medicaid enrollees signed up in expansion’s first week

Nearly 200,000 people have signed up for Medicaid in the first week of Louisiana’s expanded health care eligibility, state officials say. Gov. John Bel Edwards signed an executive order in January to lift the economic threshold for Medicaid qualification, making it available to hundreds of thousands more Louisiana residents. Enrollment began June 1, and the latest… Continue reading →

Gov. John Bel Edwards: AG Jeff Landry is testing boundaries

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Gov. John Bel Edwards delivers the keynote address at the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA) annual meeting.

Gov. John Bel Edwards and Attorney General Jeff Landry have faced off on several issues in the short five months since they both took office: budgets, lawsuits, gay rights and immigration policing, just to name a few. While Landry, a Republican, has mostly waved off speculation about what appears to be an increasingly tense relationship with… Continue reading →

Louisiana approved for first-in-the-nation Medicaid enrollment plan

Louisiana will use information collected from food stamps recipients to potentially add tens of thousands of people to the state’s Medicaid rolls as the sign-up period for the newly-expanded program begins. Enrollment kicks off Wednesday for people who qualify for Medicaid under increased income limits now set for the health care program that has traditionally served the… Continue reading →

Supporters of ‘sanctuary cities’ bill say they will amend to ease concerns

Attorney General Jeff Landry

A bill that would punish cities that adopt policies favorable to illegal immigrants is expected to be tweaked to address concerns over the attorney general’s authority in determining which places in Louisiana should be labeled “sanctuary cities” and what happens to cities if they are found in violation. Attorney General Jeff Landry gave a preview of the… Continue reading →

Governor’s Mansion slated to be site of wedding reception for Gov. John Bel Edwards’ daughter Saturday

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Azaleas bloom in front of the Governor's Mansion.

The Louisiana Governor’s Mansion has hosted presidential visits, holiday galas and other events. This weekend, the mansion will play host yet again for a special event — the wedding reception of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ daughter Samantha. “The closer we get, the better the weather is looking,” the… Continue reading →

Banning Confederate flags in veterans cemeteries supported by La. Congressmen Steve Scalise, Cedric Richmond

A vote in the Louisiana's congressional delegation is split on whether or not to remove Confederate flags from flagpoles at federal veterans cemeteries. (AP File Photo/David Goldman)

Louisiana’s congressional delegation split on a resolution to remove Confederate flags from flagpoles at federal veterans cemeteries. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, and U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, were the only two of the six-member delegation to vote in favor of the effort, which passed the U.S. House in a 265-159 vote on… Continue reading →

Tulane, UL-Monroe grad among Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court shortlist

At least one of the 11 people on Donald Trump’s shortlist for U.S. Supreme Court has close ties to Louisiana — U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge William H. “Bill” Pryor Jr., of Alabama. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, made the surprise release Wednesday of a list of people he would consider nominating to fill… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden to challenge Congressman Cedric Richmond this fall

Advocate staff photo by Bill Feig -- East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden announced Wednesday morning that he is running for U.S. Congress.

East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden announced Wednesday morning that he is running for U.S. Congress. Holden, a Democrat, is finishing up his 12th year in office as the city-parish’s top leader, but he’s term limited and unable to run again. The 2nd Congressional District’s statistics indicate Holden may face stiff competition in… Continue reading →

Louisiana Democrats take aim at Donald Trump -- and use Republican Bobby Jindal to help

. The Louisiana Democratic Party has unveiled a new ad taking aim at presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. The man quoted in the ad: Former Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican and frequent target of the state Democrats. Louisiana Democrats Donald Trump Bobby Jindal
A new ad from the Louisiana Democratic Party uses clips of former Gov. Bobby Jindal… Continue reading →

‘Fair-minded,’ ‘big-hearted fellow’: Ex-Louisiana Lt. Gov. Bobby Freeman dies at age 82

Advocate file photo  --  This is a 1979 file photo of former  Bobby Freeman and his wife Marianne.

Former Lt. Gov. Robert “Bobby” Freeman, who ushered in tourism as a major industry for Louisiana, died late Sunday at the age of 82. Freeman died after suffering from an inoperable aneurysm, former Gov. Edwin W. Edwards said Monday. “His whole career he served the interests of the people,” Edwards recalled about his old friend. “He… Continue reading →

As Clay Higgins eyes public office, 'Cajun John Wayne' refutes claims of threats, violence; see court records

Advocate file photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  Capt. Clay Higgins, spokesperson for the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office, speaks into the camera as he and law enforcement personnel from various agencies and black community leaders create a video asking for the public's help in bringing members of the Gremlins street gang to justice.

Clay Higgins gained worldwide fame through his tough-talking videos as a St. Landry Parish sheriff’s captain. Called the Cajun John Wayne, his taunting on Crime Stoppers of criminal suspects — “If you raise your weapon to a man like me, we’ll return fire with superior fire” — landed Higgins a spot on “The… Continue reading →

Poll: Trump leads Clinton in La.

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton (Associated Press file photos)

Louisiana voters overwhelmingly favor Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton, according to a new independent poll on how the race is shaping up here. JMC Analytics and Polling found likely voters support Trump 52 percent to Clinton’s 36 percent in a hypothetical match-up. Four percent of respondents would pick an unnamed… Continue reading →

Gov. John Bel Edwards reviewing potential appointees to LSU Board; decisions expected next month

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- LSU Board of Supervisors Chairman Hank Danos speaks to concerned students and faculty during a board meeting in the LSU System Building Friday, Nov. 2, 2012.  The board discussed a consulting groups proposal to restructure the LSU System from the current separate and distinct campuses into a single university with multiple campuses, and authorized LSU interim President William Jenkins to form a transition advisory team.    MAGS OUT / INTERNET OUT/ONLINE OUT/NO SALES/TV OUT/FOREIGN OUT/LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC. OUT/GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS REPORT OUT/225 OUT/10/12 OUT/IN REGISTER OUT/LBI CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS OUT/MANDATORY CREDIT THE ADVOCATE/ FIRST LAST NAME.

Gov. John Bel Edwards will have a chance in the coming weeks to dole out four coveted positions on the LSU Board of Supervisors. Four of the 15 governor-appointed board members’ terms are expiring June 1 — Hank Danos, Ray Lasseigne, Jack Lawton and Stephen Perry, who all were appointed by former Gov. Bobby Jindal. Edwards… Continue reading →

‘Simply no point for me to go’: Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal skipping GOP convention, says he's not boycotting

Republican presidential candidate, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015.  (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Friday morning on CNN that he won’t be attending the Republican National Convention — not as a boycott or to express discontent, but because, “right now, there’s simply no point for me to go.” In an interview with Alisyn Camerota on CNN’s “New Day,” Jindal also described his plan… Continue reading →

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Donald Trump: ‘It’s hard for me to believe that’s the best we can do’

Count Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards among the people who remain surprised by billionaire Donald Trump’s status as the presumptive Republican nominee for president. “It’s hard for me to believe that’s the best we can do,” said Edwards, a Democrat, on Thursday, when asked his reaction to the latest development in GOP presidential politics. He didn’t elaborate.… Continue reading →

Video: Ex-Gov. Bobby Jindal: 'Not happy about it,' but his vote will go to GOP nominee – even Donald Trump

Advocate file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Former Governor Bobby Jindal and his wife Supriya acknowledge applause as they are introduced during Gov. John Bel Edwards inauguration.

Former Gov. Bobby Jindal appears to be warming up to the idea of voting for Donald Trump in the presidential race, if the billionaire real estate mogul secures the GOP nomination. Jindal, who spent weeks attacking Trump during his own fledgling campaign for president last year, has consistently said that he’d vote in the general… Continue reading →

Louisiana congressman John Fleming: Voters frustrated by both Republicans and Democrats' leadership

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- U.S. Rep. John Fleming, R-Minden, addressed the Press Club of Baton Rouge on Monday.

The frustration being voiced by the electorate this year is rooted in a Democratic Party trending toward socialism and Republicans who won’t do anything about it, U.S. Rep. John Fleming said Monday. “The Democratic Party has moved so far to the left that it’s fully aligned with socialism,” Fleming, a Minden Republican who is running for the… Continue reading →