Google Agrees to Nearly $400 Million Settlement with 40 States over Location-Tracking Probe

Google agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states after an investigation found that the tech giant participated in questionable location-tracking practices, state attorneys general announced Monday.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong called it a “historic win for consumers.”

Read More

Republican Treasurers Pull $1 Billion from BlackRock over Alleged Anti-Fossil Fuel Policies

exterior of BlackRock

Republican state treasurers are withdrawing $1 billion in assets from BlackRock’s control due to the asset manager’s alleged boycott of the fossil fuel industry, according to the Financial Times.

Republican South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftus is pulling $200 million from BlackRock by the end of 2022, and Louisiana treasurer John Schroder said on Oct. 5 that he is divesting $794 million from the company, according to the FT. Utah treasurer Marlo Oaks said he removed $100 million in funds from BlackRock’s control, and Arkansas treasurer Dennis Milligan pulled $125 million from the company in March.

Read More

Louisiana Department of Health Rescinds COVID Vaccine Mandate for Schoolchildren

Louisiana parents opposed to COVID mRNA shots for their children won a victory as the state’s department of health rescinded its mandate that schoolchildren be injected.

The Louisiana Department of Health repealed its mandate Tuesday, leading Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) to file a motion to dismiss his lawsuit, Crews v. Edwards, against Governor John Bel Edwards (D).

Read More

Louisiana Judge Blocks Biden from Lifting Title 42 Immigration Rule

A Louisiana judge ruled Friday that President Biden must at least temporarily keep in place federal rule Title 42 that was activate by the Trump administration as a public health measure to limit immigration during the pandemic.

Judge Robert Summerhays, a Trump appointee for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, imposed the preliminary injunction against the lifting of the order while the case advances through the court system.

Read More

Commentary: Louisiana’s Bold Move to Overhaul High School Career and Technical Education

America’s high schools have problems. Nearly twenty years ago, Bill Gates observed that the existing model is obsolete — that, even when high schools “work,” the results are too often mediocre. In 2016, The Education Trust found that 47 percent of high schoolers graduated prepared for neither college nor a career. In 2018, Gallup reported that two-thirds of high schoolers described themselves as wholly or partially disengaged. And, just last month, the National Center for Education Statistics concluded that high schools are plagued by grade inflation: Over the past decade, grades have risen to a record high even as math and science performance by 12th graders has edged down.

Read More

Louisiana’s Republican Legislature Overrides Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards Veto of Redistricting Plan

John Bel Edwards

Louisiana’s Republican-controlled legislature voted to override Democratic Gov. 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.

Read More

21 States Join Lawsuit to End Federal Mask Mandate on Airplanes, Public Transportation

Twenty-one states have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued mask mandate on public transportation, including on airplanes.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are leading the effort. Moody filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida along with 20 other attorneys general. DeSantis said the mask mandate was misguided and heavy-handed.

Read More

New Hampshire State Senate Set to Vote on House-Passed Redistricting Proposal

New Hampshire State Capitol

The New Hampshire State Senate is set to vote on the House-approved redistricting plan on Thursday.

New Hampshire is one of four remaining states that have yet to complete their congressional redistricting process. The others are Louisiana, Florida, and Missouri.

Read More

Democrats Currently Lead in National Redistricting Efforts with Four States Still Completing Process

Democrats currently have the lead in redistricting efforts with four states still working on new maps.

Forty states, 46 if the states that have one congressional district are included, have finished the process of drawing new maps for U.S. House of Representatives districts. Only Florida, Missouri, Louisiana, and New Hampshire have yet to finish their redistricting process.

Read More

Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi Sue Biden over Minimum Wage Hike for Federal Contractors

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration again Thursday, this time for requiring federal contractors to pay a $15 an hour minimum wage. It’s the 21st lawsuit the attorney general has filed against the administration. Joining him are the attorneys general from Louisiana and Mississippi.

“The president has no authority to overrule Congress, which has sole authority to set the minimum wage and which already rejected a minimum wage increase,” Paxton argues.

Their lawsuit follows one filed last December by the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of outdoor adventure guides, Arkansas Valley Adventures (AVA), ​​a licensed river outfitter regulated by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, and the Colorado River Outfitters Association (CROA). The CROA, a nonprofit trade association, represents more than 150 independent operators who primarily conduct business on federal lands using special use permits through Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management.

Read More

Sixteen States File New Lawsuit Against Federal COVID Vaccination Mandate

Sixteen states again are challenging a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers who work at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Friday’s filing in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana comes after the issuance of final guidance on the mandate from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), arguing the guidance is an action that is reviewable.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 vote Jan. 13 against the original Louisiana challenge to the mandate and a similar Missouri filing.

Read More

Mom to Sue After Son Vaccinated at School Without Consent

A Louisiana mother is threatening to sue, claiming that her 16-year-old son was vaccinated for COVID-19 while at his Jefferson Parish high school without her consent.

Jennifer Ravain alleged that during a visit by an Oschner Health System mobile vaccination clinic to East Jefferson High School, her son was allowed to sign a consent form and receive a COVID-19 vaccination despite the Louisiana Department of Health requirement of a parent’s signature for persons under 18 being vaccinated, WWL-TV reported.

Read More

Flooding Could Wipe Out 25 Percent of Critical Infrastructure: Report

About 25% of critical infrastructure in the U.S., or 36,000 facilities, is at serious risk of being rendered inoperable as a result of flooding over the next three decades, according to an industry report released Monday.

American infrastructure such as police stations, airports, hospitals, wastewater treatment facilities, churches and schools were all considered in the analysis, according to First Street Foundation, the group that published the first-of-its-kind report. The U.S. is “ill-prepared” for a scenario where major flooding events become more commonplace, the report concluded.

Read More

Oil Prices Hit a Seven-Year High as Industry Feud with Biden Administration Continues

Oil prices hit a 7-year high this week as American oil and gas companies continue to fight the Biden administration over policies restricting production.

As the economy began to reopen this year and the demand for fuel increased, President Joe Biden, through executive order, halted and restricted oil and gas leases on federal lands, stopped construction of the Keystone Pipeline, and redirected U.S. policy to import more oil from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia (OPEC+) instead of bolstering American oil and gas exploration and production.

Read More

Ida Leaves More Than a Million Without Power, At Least One Dead in Louisiana

Over 1 million Louisiana residents are without electricity Monday morning, after Hurricane Ida came ashore Sunday afternoon with 150 mph winds and relentless rain.

At least one person is reported dead, with winds having sheered off roofs and flooded roads having kept rescue teams from responding.

“Nobody should be expecting that, tonight, a first-responder is going to be able to answer a call for help,” said Gov. Jon Bel Edwards at a news conference Sunday afternoon.

Read More

Hurricane Ida Makes Landfall, Lashes Louisiana With Sustained Winds of Over 150 Miles Per Hour

Hurricane Ida made landfall Sunday afternoon near Port Fourchon in Louisiana. The hurricane had intensified overnight and went from a Category 2 to a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150 mph.

The National Hurricane Center said “to expect ‘extremely life-threatening’ storm surge inundation imminently within the area between Burns Point, Louisiana, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi.”

Read More

Congressman Clay Higgins Gets COVID for a Second Time

Clay Higgins

Louisiana Republican Rep. Clay Higgins said Sunday that he, his wife and his son all tested positive for COVID-19.

“I have COVID, Becca has COVID, my son has COVID,” Higgins wrote on Facebook, adding that he and his wife had already tested positive for the virus early in 2020.

“Becca and I have had COVID before, early on, in January 2020, before the world really knew what it was,” Higgins wrote. “So, this is our second experience with the CCP biological attack weaponized virus… and this episode is far more challenging.”

Read More

Louisiana’s Senator Kennedy Files Bill Targeting Social Media Companies That Promote Divisive Content

Lousiana Senator John Neely Kennedy

Louisiana U.S. Sen. John Kennedy has introduced a bill to limit protections for social media companies that secretly leverage user data to promote divisive content.

Kennedy, a Republican, blasted Silicon Valley behemoths such as Facebook and Twitter for “provoking” platform users and blamed the “manipulative” business practice for causing unnecessary social conflict.

“Social media giants are using people’s data to manipulate them into spending more time on their sites, but the price is a more polarized America,” Kennedy said in a statement. “It’s time to stop rewarding platforms that use their algorithms to target users with content that plays on individuals’ emotions without their consent.”

Read More

Louisiana Governor Vetoes Bill Banning Biological Males from Women’s Sports

John Bel Edwards

Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have banned biological males from women’s sports.

“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 a statement, according to the Associated Press, adding that “even the author of the bill acknowledged throughout the legislative session that there wasn’t a single case where this was an issue” in Louisiana.

Louisiana’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act would have prohibited biological males from participating in female intercollegiate, interscholastic, or intramural athletic sports “that receive state funding.”

Read More

21 States Sue Biden Admin for Revoking Keystone XL Permit

A group of red states sued President Biden and members of his administration on Wednesday over his decision to revoke a key permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, The Hill reported.

The lawsuit is led by Montana and Texas, and backed by 19 other states, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Read More

Early Voting in Louisiana Began Saturday with Two Seats in Congress at Stake

Early voting in Louisiana begins Saturday for an election in which two open seats in Congress, another in the Louisiana Legislature and a spot on the state school board are at stake.  

Democrat Cedric Richmond was reelected to represent Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District, the state’s only majority-minority district which includes New Orleans and extends into Baton Rouge. Richmond stepped down from Congress, however, shortly after last fall’s election to join President Joe Biden’s administration.

Read More

Public Notice to GOP Senators, Congressman: State Parties Will Rebuke You for Disloyal Votes Against Trump

Republican lawmakers, who voted to impeach or convict President Donald J. Trump, earned rebukes from their home states – a new trend of holding GOP legislators accountable for their actions in Washington.

“Wrong vote, Sen. Burr,” Tweeted former congressman Mark Warner. “I am running to replace Richard Burr because North Carolina needs a true conservative champion as their next senator.”

Read More

Hurricane Zeta Hits Louisiana with Flooding, Power Outages

Hurricane Zeta slammed into storm-weary Louisiana on Wednesday with New Orleans squarely in its path, pelting homes and businesses with rain and howling winds, knocking out power to thousands and threatening to push up to 9 feet of sea water inland in a Gulf Coast region already pounded by multiple storms this year.

Roads were flooded near the coast, where forecasters said Zeta made landfall around Terrebone Bay near Cocodrie, an unincorporated fishing village at the end of a highway with a marine laboratory but few if any full-time residents.

Read More

Delta Adds Insult to Injury in Hurricane-Ravaged Louisiana

The day after Hurricane Delta blew through besieged southern Louisiana, residents started the routine again: dodging overturned cars, trudging through knee-deep water to flooded homes with ruined floors and no power, and pledging to rebuild after the storm.

Delta made landfall Friday evening near the coastal Louisiana town of Creole with top winds of 100 mph (155 kph). It then moved over Lake Charles, a city where Hurricane Laura damaged nearly every home and building in late August. No deaths had been reported as of Saturday afternoon, but officials said people were not out of danger.

Read More

Hurricane Laura Thrashes Louisiana, but Damage Is Less Than Predicted

One of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S., Laura barreled across Louisiana on Thursday, shearing off roofs, killing at least six people and maintaining ferocious strength while carving a destructive path hundreds of miles inland.

A full assessment of the damage wrought by the Category 4 system was likely to take days. But despite a trail of demolished buildings, entire neighborhoods left in ruins and more than 875,000 people without power, a sense of relief prevailed that Laura was not the annihilating menace forecasters had feared.

Read More

Cristobal Now a Depression Drenching Mississippi River Basin

Tropical Storm Cristobal weakened into a depression early Monday after inundating coastal Louisiana and ginning up dangerous weather along most of the U.S. Gulf Coast, sending waves crashing over Mississippi beaches, swamping parts of an Alabama island town and spawning a tornado in Florida.

Heavy rainfall and a storm surge continued posing a threat across a wide area of the coast after Cristobal made landfall Sunday afternoon packing 50-mph (85-kph) winds between the mouth of the Mississippi River and the since-evacuated barrier island resort community of Grand Isle.

Read More

Sens. Gary Peters, John Kennedy Celebrate U.S. Senate’s Passage of Resolution Marking Sept. 11-17 as Patriot Week

U.S. Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and John Kennedy (R-LA) applauded Senate passage of their  bipartisan resolution designating Sept. 11-17 as Patriot Week.

Read More