Coverage of politics from the Louisiana statehouse in Baton Rouge and beyond.

UPDATE: The state Office of Group Benefits announced on Oct. 1 -- the first day of the enrollment period for the new health insurance plans -- that the enrollment period will extend until Nov. 30 and the changes will take effect March 1, instead of Jan. 1. In a statement, Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols said, “Shifting our timeline will give people the chance to get accurate information and better understand their options.”  

The state House Appropriations Committee spent all day Thursday taking testimony about changes to health insurance plans offered for 230,000 state employees, teachers, retirees and their family members through the Louisiana Office of Group Benefits.

The Legislative Fiscal Office had looked over the offerings and estimated maximum out-of-pocket costs for people covered through OGB could go up significantly, 47 percent on average, more than $1,600 per year for a single active employee.

The new plans are supposed to take effect in January. The enrollment period is slated to start next week.

At the Democratic party's annual Women's Leadership Forum Friday, Hillary Clinton delivered a message that could have come straight from the script being used by Democratic candidates all over the country.

The Louisiana Board of Regents unleashed a 500-plus page report earlier this week about sexual assault. The report shows wide variation in how sexual assault is dealt with on state college and university campuses. 

State Sen. JP Morrell requested the report and is now putting together a working group that may wind up crafting legislation to make campus responses to the problem more uniform.

Senate Tracker: A Close Race In Louisiana

Sep 18, 2014

In the latest installment of Senate Tracker, our weekly look at Senate races across the country, we turn to Louisiana, where Democratic senator Mary Landrieu is fighting to keep her job.

Her closest challenger is Republican congressman Bill Cassidy.

Sue Lincoln, reporter for WRKF in Baton Rouge, tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about the race.

Edwin Edwards' Encore

Sep 16, 2014

50 years after he first won a congressional seat, Edwin Edwards is asking voters to send him back to Washington.

The four-time former governor is a Louisiana legend, but – as Sue Lincoln reports – it won’t be an easy sell.

The 87-year-old carries the baggage of a felony conviction, and he’s trying to mount a political comeback in district that’s become starkly conservative.

Tommy Boggs, a longtime lobbyist who in many ways epitomized the Washington establishment, has died. His sister, Morning Edition commentator Cokie Roberts, said he apparently had a heart attack.

Thomas Hale Boggs Jr., 73, pioneered a new, more professional way of lobbying starting in the 1960s, when he saw how power in Washington was becoming more diffuse. Clout on Capitol Hill spread from the House and Senate leadership to more junior members, especially in reforms after the Watergate scandal. In the executive branch, the number of regulatory agencies increased.

A string of Republican candidates for Senate are supporting an issue usually associated with Democrats: easier access to contraception.

Republicans are increasingly confident that when this year's midterm elections are over, they will control both houses of Congress. But in this period of polarization and gridlock, what difference would it make?

This midterm election doesn't seem to be about anything in particular other than whether you like President Obama or not. There's no overarching issue, no clashing national agendas. Instead, it's just a series of very expensive, brutally negative races for Congress.

The fundraising push is over, and the ground game has begun in Louisiana’s hotly contested Senate race.

Researchers at Tufts University recently pinpointed Louisiana as one of a handful of states where the youth vote could decide the outcome of a key Senate race this fall.

Jeremy Alford, Publisher of LaPolitics.com, paints a picture of how the campaigns are honing in on voters.


A federal judge in New Orleans has upheld Louisiana's law banning same-sex marriage. The decision is the first break in a string of more than two dozen federal court rulings that have struck down same-sex-marriage bans in other states over the past year.