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    BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, according to a press release from his office. Edwards says that he does not currently have symptoms and will follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and will isolate for five days. The Democrat is fully vaccinated against COVID and up-to-date on recommended booster doses, according to his office. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I have taken many precautions to avoid becoming infected and sick and spreading illness to those around me, including taking recommended vaccines, wearing masks and routinely testing for COVID,” Edwards said in a written statement. Edwards learned that he had COVID-19 following a routine coronavirus test after returning from traveling. On Sunday, June 19, Edwards traveled on a personal trip to Carmel, California for the Louisiana Association for Justice post legislative conference, according to Shauna Sanford, his communications director. Edwards returned Thursday to Louisiana. Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be...
    Louisiana’s Republican-controlled legislature voted to override Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards’s veto of the congressional redistricting plan they passed in mid-February. The new congressional maps will maintain the partisan makeup status quo of the the state’s delegation to the United States House of Representatives. Louisiana’s U.S. House delegation currently consists of five Republican representatives and one Democrat. According to Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight district partisan rating system, the most competitive district in the state is Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District, which it gives a R+23 rating. The Democrat Second district, a majority minority seat, has a D+56 rating. No districts are expected to change partisan hands in the November elections under these new maps. The Republican legislature passed their plan on February 18. Governor Edwards vetoed the plan a few weeks later because he desired a plan that would have added a Democrat seat to Louisiana’s delegation and subtracted a Republican one. The veto override vote came on March 31. Needing a two-thirds majority vote, even with a unanimous vote of their caucus, Republicans needed help to override Edwards’ veto. One Democrat...
    Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) extended the statewide mask mandate on Tuesday yet again, declaring “masks have been proven to help slow the spread” of the Chinese coronavirus. The Democrat governor initially implemented the indoor mask mandate, which applies to those five and older, on August 4. It was originally set to expire on September 1, but the governor extended the rule until September 29. Then, the day before it was set to expire, he extended yet another month. Now it will remain in place until “at least” October 27: I am extending Louisiana’s statewide indoor mask mandate for another four weeks as the state’s overall COVID-19 outlook improves following the state’s worst surge of the entire pandemic. The statewide mask mandate includes K-12 schools and college campuses. #lagov pic.twitter.com/fRWFFUY8wS — John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) September 28, 2021 “There is no doubt that our COVID-19 situation in Louisiana has improved since the peak of our fourth surge, which was largely driven by the Delta variant, and for that I am deeply grateful,” Edwards said in a statement, lamenting the...
    President Joe Biden told Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards to 'just holler' for help on Monday after Hurricane Ida ravaged the gulf coast and referred to his senior adviser, former Rep. Cedric Richmond, as 'boy.' Biden introduced Richmond, a New Orleans native who quit Congress to serve in the White House, by a term that some see as derogatory.  Richmond joined Biden on the virtual call with governors, mayors and officials from the states impacted by Hurricane Ida, which has killed at least one person and left millions without power. Biden announced Richmond would be the administration's point person on the federal response to the storm.   'I'm here with my senior adviser and boy who knows Louisiana very very well, and New Orleans Cedric Richmond,' the president said. 'While FEMA is our lead for on the ground response, if there’s something you need, needs my attention, Cedric is your direct line. 'Whenever you need to go to Cedric, he'll get back to me and we'll get you what you need,' he noted. Biden also told the ten officials from Louisiana...
    The following is a transcript of an interview with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards that aired on Sunday, August 29, 2021, on "Face the Nation." ED O'KEEFE: But we want to go now to Governor John Bel Edwards, who is at the Louisiana governor's office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in Baton Rouge. Governor, good morning to you. We've set the table, so give us a sense now. Is your state ready for this? And did enough of your residents get out of the way ahead of the storm? GOV. JOHN BEL EDWARDS: Well, ED, first of all, thank you very much. I'm happy to be on with you so I can speak to the state. Primarily, we'll know whether or not people evacuated. It appears that hundreds of thousands of people took the opportunity yesterday to leave, especially in those low-lying areas in southeast Louisiana along the coast. Those that are not protected by our much enhanced hurricane and storm risk reduction system, the one that you mentioned a while ago, where there's been about a $14 billion...
    Tropical Storm Ida is expected to hit Louisiana's coastline Sunday or Monday after the massive storm formed in the Caribbean, NPR reported. Ida was forecasted to hit Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane this weekend, with The National Hurricane Center issuing a Tropical Storm Watch for the borders of Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.  "Now is the time for Louisianans to prepare for impacts from Tropical Storm Ida, which is expected to become a major hurricane," Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) tweeted Thursday.  Now is the time for Louisianans to prepare for impacts from Tropical Storm Ida, which is expected to become a major hurricane. Louisiana is likely to start feeling effects this weekend, so get your game plan in place, monitor local news & heed local officials. #lagov #lawx pic.twitter.com/suNGIohqaJ— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) August 27, 2021 The storm is expected to bring 8 to 12 inches of rainfall, with some areas getting up to 15 inches, the National Hurricane Center said, according to NPR. Ida is the state's most serious weather threat of the 2021 hurricane season, NPR noted. Bel...
    Louisiana’s Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed constitutional carry legislation on Friday. The Daily Advertiser noted that Edwards vetoed the legislation, Senate Bill 118, claiming current state law requiring law-abiding citizens to get a permit “strikes the right balance.” State Sen. Jay Morris (R) sponsored the legislation. He responded to Edwards’ veto by saying, “I certainly can’t say it’s a surprise; the governor has been clear all along. But I’m still disappointed. This bill is for law-abiding and freedom-loving citizens.” Morris expressed hope that legislators will work to overcome Edwards’ opposition and secure constitutional carry anyway. The NRA is urging Louisianans to contact their state lawmakers and urge them to override Edwards’ veto. The NRA tweeted: “Your NRA is going to STAND and FIGHT back against this UNNECESSARY veto. Louisianans: Contact your Reps and Senator’s ASAP and make sure they support an override session and an override.” Twenty-one states have constitutional carry. Those states are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. (NOTE:...
    Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) vetoed legislation on Tuesday prohibiting transgender girls and women from participating in sports that align with their gender identity. The state legislature passed Senate Bill 156 late last month, which would have required intercollegiate, interscholastic or intramural athletic teams to allow categorize athletes based on “biological sex.”  “As I have said repeatedly when asked about this bill, discrimination is not a Louisiana value, and this bill was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana,” Edwards said in a statement on Twitter. “Even the author of the bill acknowledged throughout the legislative session that there wasn’t a single case where this was an issue,” he continued. Gov. Edwards' statement on his veto of Senate Bill 156, which sought to prevent transgender girls and women from participating on athletic teams or in sporting events designated for girls or women at elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools. #lagov #lalege pic.twitter.com/i8UPo5sko4— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) June 22, 2021 The bill passed with a margin wide enough to potentially override Edward’s veto. However, according...
    Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have prohibited biological men and boys from competing against women and girls in sports events in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools. Gov. Edwards statement on his veto of Senate Bill 156, which sought to prevent transgender girls and women from participating on athletic teams or in sporting events designated for girls or women at elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools. #lagov #lalege pic.twitter.com/i8UPo5sko4 — John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) June 22, 2021 Bel Edwards vetoed Senate Bill 156, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, on the final day of the regular legislative session, claiming transgender athletes do not exist in his state. “As I have said repeatedly when asked about this bill, discrimination is not a Louisiana value, and this bill was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana,” the governor said in his veto message. “Even the author of the bill acknowledged throughout the legislative session that there wasn’t a single case where this was an issue,” he added. The governor added:...
    Buddy Roemer, former US representative and governor of Louisiana, died on Monday at the age of 77.  Roemer was ill for months and died at his home in Baton Rouge, according to The Advocate. Roemer, who was a Type 1 diabetic, suffered a stroke in 2014 that left him with a speech impediment and a halting gait. Born in 1943, Roemer graduated as president and valedictorian of his high school class and attended Harvard University, where he graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in government and economics in 1964, according to the National Governor Association.  Nearly a decade later, Roemer was elected as a delegate to the Louisiana Constitutional Convention in 1972 and eight years later was elected to Congress.  During his time as representative of his state, Roemer served on multiple committees including the House Banking Committee. He created and co-chaired his own committee, the House Grace Caucus, a bipartisan group recommending cost-saving measures for the federal government, according to NGA.  During his term as Louisiana governor, Roemer increased teachers salaries, enforced environmental laws and toughened laws on campaign finance. Roemer switched...
    Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) on Tuesday announced that will partially lift the state’s mask mandate this week, The Associated Press reported. Holding a press conference on the state’s response to COVID-19, Edwards shared the new updates to the mask mandate that will begin on Wednesday, which includes people being required to wear their masks on public transit and in health care facilities, daycare centers, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, according to theAP.  Following sustained improvement in COVID hospitalizations and an increase in the supply and availability of vaccines, some mitigation measures will be eased starting April 28. The statewide mask mandate will be lifted but masks will still be required for specific settings. #lagov pic.twitter.com/FntA8V0N9R— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) April 27, 2021 Masks will also still be required in private business and local government buildings, even though some local businesses can enact their own mask mandates, as well.   This comes as Louisiana is seeing a significant decline in people hospitalized due to COVID-19 since vaccinations have started, with Edwards expanding access to vaccines to anyone older than the age...
    Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow died on Tuesday after being hospitalized with COVID-19.  Letlow, 41, was first admitted to St. Francis Medical Center due to complications with coronavirus on Dec. 19 before being transferred to the Ochsner LSU Health ICU on Dec. 23 as his condition worsened.   "The family appreciates the numerous prayers and support over the past days but asks for privacy during this difficult and unexpected time. A statement from the family along with funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time," his family told The News Star, which was first to report the news.   The Louisiana Republican leaves behind his wife, Julia Letlow, and two children. Letlow was slated to succeed his boss, retiring Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-La.), whom he previously served as chief of staff, as the representative for Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District.  Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) offered his condolences and announced the flags would be ordered half-staff on the day of Letlow’s funeral shortly after the news broke.   “It is with heavy hearts that @FirstLadyOfLA and I offer our condolences to Congressman-elect Luke...
    BATON ROUGE, La. _ (AP) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards confirms chemical plant fire in wake of Hurricane Laura, urges shelter in place. Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    A federal judge in Louisiana ruled Monday that the governor's order mandating the closure of bars due to COVID-19 concerns was constitutional, rejecting a challenge from several bar owners in the state. The Advocate reported that Judge Martin Feldman of the U.S. Eastern District of Louisiana wrote in his opinion that the bar owners' case was "strong" but did not rise to the level of overruling “deference due state officials during this pandemic.” "As between democratically accountable state officials and a federal court, who decides what measures best protect Louisianans during a global pandemic? The answer is state officials," Feldman, a Reagan appointee, wrote in a court filing. Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) banned on-site service in bars in mid-July as the state was approaching its peak of new daily coronavirus cases. He also introduced a statewide mask mandate. "We know that face masks work. It's as simple as that," Edwards said at the time, criticizing the nationwide political debate that has emerged over wearing face masks to prevent transmission of the virus. Louisiana has since seen its rate of new...
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