governor john bel edwards

Ben Depp

The state of Louisiana may soon require businesses to have their employees wear masks if they want to operate, Governor John Bel Edwards said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

The White House has issued guidelines for how states might reopen their economies in phases. Some states, like Georgia, have already started loosening coronavirus restrictions.

Patrick Madden / WWNO

Governor John Bel Edwards announced a mandatory statewide stay at home order starting at 5 p.m. Monday March 23, marking the state’s latest and most aggressive social distancing measures intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Edwards is instructing Louisiana residents not to leave their homes except for essential tasks until the order is lifted on Sunday April 12.

Governor John Bel Edwards held his traditional year-end press conference last week. It marked not only the end of 2019, but the end of his first term.

His core message?

“Our state is operating from a position of strength, not the position of weakness where we were four years ago,” Edwards said.

The Democratic governor touted budget stability, GDP growth, Medicaid expansion-- all familiar talking points from the campaign trail.

And his plans for 2020 sounded awfully familiar too.

Democrats have a formula-- a recipe for success in Louisiana elections. Demographer Greg Rigamer explains.

"You need, as a Democrat, to win 90% of the African American voter and a third of the white vote," Rigamer said.

And African Americans need to account for at least 30% of the votes cast.

"That's been the formula that has held true for every every race since really 2003," he added.

With the 2019 election behind him, Governor John Bel Edwards’ focus has shifted from winning a second term to figuring out how to get his initiatives through an even more conservative legislature.

He talked about his priorities last week at his first press conference since the election.

Satellite image of Tropical Storm Barry, when it was still Potential Tropical Cyclone 2.
NOAA

Last Update 5:00 p.m., July 11, 2019

The latest forecasts have Tropical Storm Barry making landfall no longer as a hurricane, but as a tropical storm, just west of Morgan City, on Saturday. However, forecasters say the storm could still grow to hurricane force as it approaches the coast.

The main concern is still rain. Most of the New Orleans area can expect 10-15 inches of rain, but some areas could get up to 20 inches. Areas near Morgan City and Houma are predicted to get the worst of the deluge -- 20 to 25 inches.

Hunter Lovell, LSU Manship School News Service

The Louisiana legislature debated a total of seven bills dealing with the issue of abortion during its 2019 session. The bill that got the most attention would make abortion illegal after about six weeks — before many women know they’re pregnant.

With the 2019 legislative session wrapped up and a campaign for re-election on the horizon, Governor John Bel Edwards took stock of the successes and failures of his key initiatives. 

Lauren Heffker /LSU Manship School News Service

The Louisiana Community and Technical College System is partnering with Amazon Web Services to implement the tech company’s Educate curriculum, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday.