Rebekah Gee

December 4, 2018

Food banks are struggling to provide food

When conservative politicians push for work requirements as a condition of receiving food benefits, they often argue that food banks can step in to fill any gaps created if people lose government assistance. But as the holiday season kicks into high gear - traditionally a high point for giving - the shelves at many Louisiana food banks are bare, partly because food assistance has been going to areas that were hit by recent disasters. Gov. John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards are calling for donations.

Number of the Day

$1.44 trillion - The amount of outstanding student loan debt in America, an increase of $37 billion in the third quarter of 2018. (Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York via Bloomberg)
August 8, 2018

Impending “public charge” rule sparks fears in immigrant families

Advocates are gearing up for a fight against a proposed rule from President Donald Trump’s administration that would make major changes to a long-standing immigration law.

Number of the Day

7.9 million - Number of U.S. citizen children who could be impacted by the Trump administration’s proposed changes to the “public charge” rule because they live in families with at least one non-citizen.  (Source: Center for Law and Social Policy)
May 10, 2018

Payday lending expansion halted

The House Commerce Committee on Wednesday rejected a push by the national payday lending industry to expand its Louisiana operations and make the debt trap deeper and longer for vulnerable borrowers. Witnesses testified to the harms payday lending already subjects Louisiana families to, as well as the availability of much cheaper and less harmful alternatives.

Number of the Day

37,000 - Number of senior citizens and individuals with developmental disabilities who receive care in a nursing home, in other long-term care facilities and through waivers for community-based services set to receive a notice from Louisiana Department of Health that they may lose Medicaid coverage under the budget as currently crafted by the legislature. (Source: Louisiana Department of Health)
January 23, 2018

A new approach to work requirements?

Gov. John Bel Edwards has yet to lay out his vision for how to connect Medicaid recipients with jobs; those details are being worked on by an outside consultant. But in a letter to The Advocate, Louisiana Health Secretary Rebekah Gee suggests it won’t be the punitive approach favored by state Sen. Sharon Hewitt and other legislators.

Number of the Day

$5.8 billion- Amount of money in tips that workers would lose under a proposed U.S. Department of Labor rule that would allow restaurants to pocket their workers’ tips as long as they pay at least a minimum wage. (Source: Economic Policy Institute)