Paul Braun

Paul Braun is WRKF's Capitol Access reporter.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a $30 billion state budget and supplemental spending bills that utilize nearly $1 billion in federal funds to make up for revenues lost because of the coronavirus, sparing most state agencies and programs from deep cuts.

An effort to nullify lawsuits filed by coastal parishes against oil and gas companies suffered a setback in the Louisiana legislature this week, but some state lawmakers say the issue is likely to reemerge in the final days of the session.

For the first time since April 1, the Louisiana Department of Health is identifying all of the state’s nursing homes with COVID-19 cases.

Nearly 40 percent of the state’s COVID-19 deaths were residents of nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, but a lack of transparency and changing reporting standards from facilities and the state department of health has left residents’ loved ones in the dark.

Paul Braun / WRKF

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The House and Governmental Affairs Committee advanced a measure Wednesday that would suspend Gov. John Bel Edwards’ ability to enforce his statewide stay-at-home order, indicating the widening divide between conservative state lawmakers and the Democratic governor over when to reopen the economy.

Read our full report on the meeting here.

Paul Braun / WRKF

The House and Governmental Affairs Committee advanced a measure Wednesday that would undercut the statewide stay-at-home order Gov. John Bel Edwards put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Louisiana lawmakers considered a wide range of bills in the first full day of committee hearings since they returned to the capitol.

Here's what stood out.

The state is directing $10.4 million in federally-funded block grants to the City of New Orleans, sending money back to affordable housing projects that were in jeopardy because of COVID-19, it announced Tuesday.

Paul Braun / WRKF

The controversial pastor of Life Tabernacle Church, whose defiance of a statewide ban on large public gatherings garnered national media attention, was arrested today on aggravated assault charges stemming from an encounter with a man protesting in front of his Central, Louisiana church.

As Louisiana’s outlook improves in the fight against the coronavirus, Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a Friday media briefing that he plans to reopen the state’s economy “as fast as we can while we adequately protect public health.”

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