FILE - Louisiana State Capitol

The Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Anti-tort reform group launches

Real Reform Louisiana, a “new citizen-led nonprofit,” plans to use outreach and advertising to oppose business-backed tort reform efforts.

While supporters say changes to Louisiana’s legal system could lead to lower auto insurance rates, skeptics say tort reform limits citizens’ access to the courts without benefitting consumers.

“Tort reform won’t lower car insurance rates, but it will make it easier for insurance companies and big corporations to avoid compensating legitimate victims of negligence,” said Eric Holl, the group’s executive director.

While the group is officially nonpartisan, Holl was the communications director for Gov. John Bel Edwards’ reelection. Trey Ourso, the group’s president, is a former executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party and chairman of the pro-Edwards GumboPAC.

Louisiana Secretary of State launches business regulation tracking site

Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin has announced implementation of the Small Business Protection Act. Passed last year, the act requires the secretary of state to post information about proposed state rules that may affect small businesses on its website and to notify interested parties when the rule information is posted.

The database includes current and proposed rules and regulations, allowing businesses to provide input before regulations take effect, Ardoin said.

Businesses can register for updates at smallbiz.sos.la.gov.

Pelican Institute opens Baton Rouge office

The Pelican Institute for Public Policy has opened a new office in downtown Baton Rouge that will serve as the organization’s legislative headquarters during sessions, the group announced.

The New Orleans-based group also announced that it had hired Sarah Harbison as general counsel, Ethan Melancon as education policy director and Morgan Wampold as director of communications.

The Pelican Institute is a fiscally conservative think tank that describes itself as “the leading voice for free markets in Louisiana.”

Company ranks Louisiana as least-healthy state

Louisiana is the most unhealthy state in the country, according to an analysis by a company that provides home health tests.

Let’s Get Checked reviewed eight data sets from governmental sources to create its ranking, the company says. High rates of obesity and cigarette smoking are among the primary factors contributing to Louisiana’s poor showing.

Staff Reporter

David Jacobs is a Baton Rouge-based award-winning journalist who has written about government, politics, business and culture in Louisiana for almost 15 years. He joined The Center Square in 2018.