Paul Braun

Capitol Reporter

Paul Braun is WRKF's reporter for Capitol Access, our series of reporting on state politics, government, and the people shaping Louisiana's state policy.

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The Louisiana Legislature returns for its 2020 Regular Session on Monday, kicking off three months of committee hearings, floor votes and partisan squabbles.

Haven’t you missed it?

The United States Supreme Court heard arguments today in the first major abortion case of the Trump Era, considering the constitutionality of a Louisiana law that would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Hannah A Bullock; Azaibi Tamin / CDC

Nearly 84,000 people in at least 56 countries have fallen ill as the coronavirus spreads across the world. Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of coronavirus in a person who had no known history of travel to China, raising concerns of potential "community spread" of the disease, which is also known as COVID-19.

While Louisiana officials say the risk of contracting coronavirus remains low, preparations are well underway.

Dr. Joseph Kanter, assistant state health officer and a regional medical director for the Office of Public Health, talks about how the state is preparing for the potential spread of the coronavirus.

Judge Jessie LeBlanc of the 23rd Judicial District announced her resignation Thursday after a groundswell of public criticism over her admitted use of a racist slur and participation in an extramarital affair with a top law enforcement official in her district.

Governor John Bel Edwards is calling on a Judge Jessie LeBlanc of the 23rd Judicial District to resign after she admitted to using a racist slur. 

LeBlanc, who is white, used the slur in reference to two black public officials in her district, which includes Ascension, Assumption and St. James Parishes. 

Patrick Madden / WWNO

Mardi Gras has finally arrived, and people all across Louisiana are celebrating — from Galliano to Shreveport and everywhere in between.

The weeks of revelry leading up to Fat Tuesday aren't just a good time — they're a major economic driver for the state. 

For this Mardi Gras edition of Capitol Access, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser discusses the impact carnival season has on the Louisiana tourism industry.

Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

Louisianans have a love-hate relationship with water.

Our state's waterways are the source of so much of our culture and commerce. But as rainfall increases and storms intensify, once historic flooding events are becoming commonplace. 

Courtney Phillips/LinkedIn

Gov. John Bel Edwards has officially chosen the new secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health following the departure of Rebekah Gee, the former head of the state’s largest government agency.

Jim Bowen / Flickr

First responders have extinguished a fire inside ExxonMobil’s sprawling Baton Rouge refinery complex that caused concern among area residents and bathed the night sky in an orange glow that was visible for miles.


Last week, Governor John Bel Edwards debuted his $32 billion dollar budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. Unsurprisingly, the second-term governor’s plan highlighted new investments in education.