Gov. John Bel Edwards presented his spending proposal to legislators this week
The state is not only recovering from Hurricane Ida, but also from the damaging winter storm and spring flooding that occurred earlier this year and the devastation of Hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta.
Lawmakers are also considering loosening medical marijuana rules.
His hardest sells will be carbon reduction and increasing the current $7.25 minimum wage, a political hot potato that Edwards lobbed squarely into the Legislature’s lap.
Musicians face the prospect of another year of lost opportunities, revenue streams and their social and professional identities
Louisiana is expanding vaccine eligibility to include most adults with certain health conditions that put them at high risk. Announced Tuesday by Gov. John Bel Edwards, the new eligibility extends the age range in the high risk pool to as young as 16-years-old, substantially increasing the current priority group. Around 1.6 million people are estimated to now qualify. Below are the conditions listed in the update:
- moderate to severe asthma
- cerebrovascular disease
- cystic fibrosis
- hypertension or high blood pressure
- immunocompromised state from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids or use of other immune weakening medicines
- neurologic conditions, such as dementia
- liver disease
- pulmonary fibrosis
- type 1 diabetes mellitus
For two straight weeks, fewer than 5% of coronavirus tests performed in Lafayette Parish have come back positive, meeting the threshold to opt back in to limited indoor service for the first time since November. On Wednesday, Mayor-President Josh Guillory did just that, notifying the governor that he will allow Lafayette bars to re-open at 25% occupancy. Permitting loopholes and lax enforcement have kept much of Lafayette’s night life humming throughout the pandemic, with crowds piling up Downtown on weekends. But some big clubs will remain closed because of the low cap on occupancy.
Sounding off to The Washington Post, Gov. John Bel Edwards bemoaned Lafayette’s second failed attempt a local mask mandate a “failure of leadership.” Edwards called the decision “regrettable” and emphasized that the statewide mandate is in effect, despite an apparent lack of enforcement both by the state fire marshal and the open defiance of Mayor-President Josh Guillory.
“It’s unfortunate, because that region of our state, at numerous times throughout the pandemic, has actually had some of the highest positivity rates and case growth and hospitalizations,” Edwards said.
Beginning Monday, K-12 teachers and school staff and people aged 55-64 with certain health conditions will be eligible to receive Covid vaccines, Gov. Edwards announced Thursday, reported here by The Advocate. The massive ongoing winter event has disrupted already delayed vaccine logistics. Closed roads and offices forced delays in vaccine shipments and providers have had to reschedule both first- and second-dose appointments. LDH officials say that a few days delay on second doses shouldn’t be a problem. Just over a quarter-million people have been fully vaccinated in Louisiana. Hospitalizations have plummeted, however. As of Thursday, the Acadiana region posted fewer than 60 Covid in-patients for the first time since Nov. 2.
211 live call specialists connected thousands of residents to health and social services via the system’s vast network of providers. And fed key info to those raising levees against the flood of unmet needs.
Cracks in the governor’s mandate are an easy opening for objecting owners to squeeze through and take a stand on principle, which many have.
The Legislature staked out an independent course this session, calling itself into special session that produced policy wins for business interests