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New Orleans Attorney Profiles 2015
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La. gets poor mental health care access ranking

The national Mental Health Association’s 2015 report lists Louisiana as one of the states with the highest prevalence of mental illness and lowest rates of access to care. In the new report, Louisiana ranks 47th on the survey, which includes 50 states and the District of Columbia. The states ranking below it are Washington, Nevada, Mississippi… Continue reading →

BESE overrides EBR school board, authorizes creation of two new charter schools

Louisiana’s top school board Tuesday overrode a decision by the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board and authorized the creation of two new charter schools set to open next year. The action came despite fierce opposition from local school board leaders, including Superintendent Warren Drake. The schools are Apex Southeast Inc., which will gradually… Continue reading →

Presidential primary qualifying starts Wednesday in Louisiana, but candidates not expected in state

Candidates who want to run in Louisiana’s presidential preference primary must qualify this week, but don’t expect to catch a glimpse of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump at the Secretary of State’s office. “We don’t expect to see any presidential candidates here in Louisiana to qualify for the PPP,” Secretary of State Tom Schedler said in a news release. “Most will… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal, John Bel Edwards meet to discuss transition

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Gov.-Elect John Bel Edwards, right, answers a question as he and Gov. Bobby Jindal, left, hosted a joint press conference at the Governor's Mansion after meeting to talk about the transition.

Gov. Bobby Jindal and Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards met for about an hour on Tuesday to discuss plans for the transition between their administrations. Edwards, a Democrat, takes office Jan. 11, following a landslide win in the Nov. 21 governor’s race. He and Jindal, a Republican, pledged during a news conference at the Governor’s Mansion… Continue reading →

Audit finds over $15 million worth of LSU hospital equipment unaccounted for; official says it’s not missing

Advocate file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- LSU's Earl K. Long Memorial Hospital, a charity hospital along Airline Highway in Baton Rouge, closed in April with most of its inpatient care picked up by Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.

Millions in new and used state-owned LSU hospital equipment is not properly accounted for, the Louisiana legislative auditor said in a report released Monday. The list includes $15 million-plus worth of equipment the state bought for the University Medical Center in New Orleans, as well as $1 million in equipment UMC’s private partner used while… Continue reading →

Book offers up-close look at Bobby Jindal: 'Gordon Gekko' influence, path to Christianity, presidential campaign

Photo provided by the Des Moines Register  --  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, right, talked with Davin Bernstein, 48 of Dallas, Texas, as Jindal and his family visited the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Saturday August 9, 2014.

A new book coming out this week gives some insight into Gov. Bobby Jindal’s background and his ultimately unsuccessful run for president. “The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party’s Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House” by Buzzfeed reporter McKay Coppins will be released Tuesday. It takes readers deep inside the crowded… Continue reading →

State Sen. Troy Brown says he can’t remember details of alleged attack on longtime girlfriend at New Orleans hotel

Advocate staff photo by  APRIL BUFFINGTON --   Ascension Parish Senator for District 2 candidate Troy Brown

State Sen. Troy Brown, accused of punching his longtime girlfriend in the face Saturday night in a New Orleans hotel hours after the Bayou Classic football game, said Monday he can’t remember major details of the alleged incident and is seeking medical help. Brown, D-Geismar, punched the girlfriend while she and others were waiting for an… Continue reading →

'You’re crazy if you believe that': John Bel Edwards takes remarkable journey to improbable landslide in governor's race

Image from video provided by John Bel Edwards -- Louisiana Democratic Gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards is pictured here in a political advertisement promoting his campaign. ORG XMIT: BAT1510271533063521

One day in early 2013, two seatmates in the Louisiana House — Reps. John Bel Edwards and Sam Jones — were discussing a familiar topic: their belief that Gov. Bobby Jindal was leading the state in the wrong direction. Edwards looked intently at his friend. “Sam, I’ve had enough of fighting with this guy,” Edwards said.… Continue reading →

Governor-elect John Bel Edwards grew up on small-town values, was taught politics a noble calling

Not quite a tow-headed boy carrying a pole to the fishing hole with his father the sheriff, but Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards grew up the son of the most important man in Tangipahoa Parish, running around a small rural town where everyone knew everyone else. “I grew up in… Continue reading →

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond part of bipartisan push to address incarceration rates, associated costs

Cedric Richmond

It’s rare, as a member of the Democratic minority in the U.S. House, to play a significant role in pushing major legislation to approval, U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, acknowledged this week. Rare, but for him, he said, not unprecedented: He teamed up with Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, in the House, along… Continue reading →

Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards’ Medicaid expansion timeline hits bump in road; here's what's next

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Louisiana Governor Elect John Bel Edwards speaks about his plans after winning the election the day before at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015.

On the campaign trial, Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards promised time and again that he would expand the rolls of Medicaid on his first day in office. His promise to reverse repeated rejections of expanded Medicaid by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal and open the government health insurance program to more low-income workers was a cornerstone… Continue reading →

Edwin Edwards leaving hospital after pneumonia treatment

Former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards waves with his wife Trina Scott Edwards as they arrive onstage with family and supporters for Louisiana Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards, at his election night watch party in New Orleans, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. John Bel Edwards won the runoff election for Louisiana governor Saturday, defeating the once-heavy favorite, Republican David Vitter, and handing the Democrats their first statewide victory since 2008. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Former Gov. Edwin Edwards is headed home from the hospital after treatment for pneumonia. “Edwin is up and around and feeling much better thanks to the doctors, nurses, and rest of the hospital staff. He received excellent treatment and everyone was so kind and helpful, but we’re happy to be headed home,” Edwards’ wife Trina wrote on… Continue reading →

Need a gig? John Bel Edwards launches new website, seeks applications for political positions

Looking for a job in Louisiana Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards’ administration? Edwards’ transition team launched a website Wednesday where people can apply on-line for a variety of politically appointed positions in the governor’s office and state agencies. The governor-elect’s website -- -- contains a form for job seekers to fill out.… Continue reading →

How Bobby Jindal's meteoric rise in GOP ended with him crashing down to earth with failed presidential bid

Advocate Staff Photograph by Travis Spradling.Picture shot on 2-12-98 Secretary of the Louisiana Dept. of Health and Hospitals Bobby Jindal talks on camera  Thursday, discussing the new  gambling hotline billboards (like one background, on Florida Blvd. near Wooddale Blvd. ) while making a video feed for news stations around the state. The crew in the foreground includes (from left)  Randy Knaps,and David Landry, both of the local production company Digital FX, and DHH spokesman Rusty Jabour. (Knaps is correct) The project is sponsored by the La. Dept of Health and Hospitals, and the Lousiana Lottery Corporation.       Keyword Gambling abuse aid advertising

At 24, Bobby Jindal, an Ivy League graduate and Rhodes scholar, was picked by Gov. Mike Foster to head the state Department of Health and Hospitals, commanding an agency with 12,000 employees that accounted for 40 percent of the state budget. At 28, he was appointed the youngest… Continue reading →

With Bobby Jindal exit, GOP candidate Jeb Bush names Louisiana campaign team

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush’s campaign on Tuesday named his Louisiana steering committee and finance chairs. St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister; state Sen. Conrad Appel, of Metairie; state Rep. Nancy Landry, of Lafayette; and former state Commissioner of Elections Suzie Terrell will work to build Bush’s grass-roots infrastructure. Fundraising efforts will be led by New… Continue reading →

GOP leader says Edwards backs New Orleans Democrat for House speaker

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- In his first major address since winning election Saturday, Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards spoke Monday at the Louisiana Federation of Teachers Convention on Monday.

Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards told Republican House leaders Tuesday that he backs New Orleans Rep. Walt Leger III, a fellow Democrat, as speaker of the Louisiana House. “He told me that this afternoon at a meeting,” House Republican Majority Leader Lance Harris said in an interview Tuesday night while driving to his home in Alexandria. “I… Continue reading →

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush announces Louisiana campaign team, finance chairs

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush’s campaign on Tuesday named his Louisiana steering committee and finance chairs. St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister, state Sen. Conrad Appel of Metairie, state Rep. Nancy Landry of Lafayette and former state Commissioner of Elections Suzie Terrell will work to build Bush’s grassroots infrastructure. Meanwhile, fundraising efforts will be led by New Orleans developerJoe Canizaro, Lockport shipbuilder… Continue reading →

Lt. Gov.-elect Billy Nungesser: 'I'm not giving anybody a pink slip'

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Lt. Gov. candidates  Billy Nungesser, left, and Kip Holden, right, speak at the BR Press Club.

. Lt. Gov.-elect Billy Nungesser visited his soon-to-be state offices Monday, assuring employees they would still have a job after his January inauguration if they wanted it. “I’m not going in there and cleaning house. That doesn’t benefit anybody,” Nungesser said. “I’m not giving anybody a pink slip. I’m going to call every one of them personally and… Continue reading →

Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards clears air with teachers, says he's not banning vouchers or closing charter schools

Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards greets teachers and education supporters at the 51st annual convention of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers   at the Golden Nugget Casino in Lake Charles, La., Monday, Nov. 23, 2014. The convention runs from Sunday afternoon, November 22, through Tuesday morning, November 24. (AP Photo/Lake Charles American Press, Rick Hickman) ORG XMIT: lacha

In his first address since winning election, Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards told teachers Monday that he entered the race because he wanted to improve education, but his first focus will be on the state budget. “The budget is going to be about $1.2 billion short: that has to be our first… Continue reading →

Pollster: David Vitter’s campaign doomed by divided GOP base, unpopular incumbent, methodical opponent

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Gubernatorial candidate David Vitter announces endorsements from LABI, Louisiana Home Builders Association, ABC Merit PAC and ABC Pelican PAC.

Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s campaign for governor was doomed by a fractured GOP base and a methodical Democratic opponent in Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards, according to an analysis of Saturday’s runoff results. John Couvillon, of JMC Analytics, said during the Press Club of Baton Rouge lunch on Monday that Edwards’ landslide win doesn’t mean the state… Continue reading →

Why Medicaid expansion supporters say they can't just halt efforts just because John Bel Edwards is governor-elect

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- In his first major address since winning election Saturday, Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards spoke Monday at the Louisiana Federation of Teachers Convention on Monday.

Just because Democratic Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards favors Medicaid expansion, it’s not time for its supporters to get complacent, a Together Louisiana leader said Monday. Governors of Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming, Florida, Missouri and Virginia have backed Medicaid expansion only to have their Legislatures veto the idea, the Rev. Lee T. Wesley said. “We are committed… Continue reading →

Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards names chief of staff and transition team, faces questions about Medicaid expansion

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Louisiana Governor Elect John Bel Edwards speaks about his plans after winning the election the day before at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. He has chosen Senator Ben W. Nevers, right, as Chief of Staff

So now what? Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards began answering those questions Sunday afternoon, less than 24 hours after being elected governor, as he hired a chief of staff, named six co-chairs to oversee the transition and backed away from his campaign promise to expand Medicaid to the working poor on his first day in office. In… Continue reading →