Louisiana is marred by high rates of food insecurity and child poverty. In East Carroll Parish, 42.8% of children are food insecure, the highest rate in the nation. Statewide, 1 in 5 kids don’t have enough to eat. Pat Van Burkleo, executive director of Feeding Louisiana, in a letter to the Times Picayune | Baton Rouge Advocate explains how we can all help feed hungry kids in our state: 

Louisiana, renowned for its culinary legacy and food culture, deserves better. This isn’t merely a moral lapse; it’s a systemic crisis requiring immediate and collective action. It’s time for all of us to confront this challenge head-on. Concrete steps can be taken, starting with robust support for our local food banks. …  Act today. Whether by volunteering time, donating funds or food, or advocating for supportive policies, every contribution counts. The time for action is now. Let us unite as a state and declare with one voice: No child in Louisiana should endure hunger.

Louisiana’s top school board and a chorus of state and national groups are calling on Gov. Jeff Landry to veto recently passed legislation allowing students to opt-out of the ACT. Ten of 11 members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, including three members appointed by Landry, sent the governor a letter outlining their opposition to House Bill 762. The Times Picayune | Baton Rouge Advocate’s Patrick Wall reports

The bill would “tie BESE’s hands” and “water down standards for schools” just as the board is preparing to vote on a new school-accountability system at its June 12 meeting, the letter said. The measure would also diminish the usefulness of the ACT, “an invaluable tool” for tracking student achievement and comparing performance across states, the letter added. The ACT, which Louisiana uses to award in-state college scholarships, has also helped thousands of low-income students pursue degrees, the BESE members wrote. 

The group of state and national organizations sent their own letter to Landry expressing their concerns: 

Echoing BESE, the advocates wrote that the bill would “water down” the state’s school-accountability system and put college out of reach for some students.  It was signed by the Council for A Better Louisiana, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, Louisiana Kids Matter, Americans for Prosperity-Louisiana, the Pelican Institute for Public Policy and two national groups, Education Reform Now and ExcelinEd.

Members of a U.S. Senate panel debated the cause of rising homeowners insurance premiums gripping the nation. Climate change is increasing the number of costly, extreme-weather events that homeowners and insurance companies dread. Insurers lost money on homeowners coverage in more than a third of states in 2023. But as States Newsroom’s Lia Chien explains, there was partisan divide over the cause of America’s homeowners insurance crisis. 

The Democratic senators present at Wednesday’s hearing and their witnesses all pointed to climate change as a major driver of high-damage claims and rising premium costs. They added the insurance crisis will only get worse with more extreme weather.

Most Republican senators on the panel refused to acknowledge that climate change is driving skyrocketing premiums:

Most committee Republicans, on the other hand, identified rising government spending and inflation as the main drivers of increased insurance prices. [Sen. Chuck] Grassley pointed to the increased costs of labor and materials to rebuild or repair homes, as well as more people moving to disaster-prone areas, as other factors contributing to high insurance premiums.

Louisiana is slated to receive billions of dollars from federal legislation aimed at combating climate change. But the state’s embrace of controversial carbon capture technology means many of these funds will be used to increase the production of planet warming fossil fuels. Ned Randolph, writing in a guest column for The Lens, explains: 

That’s because many of these carbon capture projects will be handling emissions from facilities that rely on oil and natural gas – in fact, many of the projects are tied to major oil and gas companies through subsidiaries. Under new federal rules, the projects can receive generous tax subsidies. The more carbon dioxide the factories produce and capture, the more federal money the projects can receive. The coup de grâce: Louisiana can authorize as many of these federally subsidized projects as it sees fit. The Environmental Protection Agency recently approved its quest to become only one of three states with regulatory “primacy” over such carbon storage wells.

$700 – Estimated amount of state directed safety net dollars a non-disabled, non-immigrant single-mother family in Louisiana, with full access to programs, would have received in 2022. The Pelican State ranked 40th nationally for state-directed safety net funding. (Source: Brookings)