Louisiana Lawmakers, Officials to Discuss ‘Legislating in the Time of COVID-19’ as Recap of 2020 Legislative Season at LSU Livestreamed Event

June 26, 2020

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana House and Senate leaders, state administrators and economic experts will explore the realities of legislating during a pandemic on Wednesday, July 1, at 3 p.m. CST. Hosted in partnership with the LSU Office of the President, this event is the final installment of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs Communications & COVID-19 virtual series and will be livestreamed on the LSU Manship School’s YouTube channel.

Following an eight-week suspension of the 2020 Regular Session, the Louisiana Legislature reconvened on May 4 with only four weeks to address the state’s critical needs in light of the coronavirus outbreak. Upon sine die, the Legislature immediately gaveled into a thirty-day special session to continue tackling the state’s $30 billion operating budget, which was dealt a $900 million shortfall as a result of the economic fallout caused by the pandemic. As members faced the challenges that have accompanied legislating during a public health crisis, how and what did they prioritize? “Legislating in the Time of COVID-19” will recap the approach of both legislative and state government leaders in tackling a variety of high-priority bills relating to the state’s budget, CARES Act funding, education and healthcare.

“This event underscores the need for public health emergency preparedness among state leaders, particularly lawmakers, whose responsibilities continue during times of quarantine, epidemic and other global crises,” LSU Interim President Tom Galligan said. “Understanding the mechanisms and resources related to state legislature operations, while prioritizing global health concerns, is critical, and we’re proud to host this important discussion at LSU.”

The complete list of panelists features:

  • Sarah Procopio – Rising senior, LSU Manship School of Mass Communication; Director & Founder, LA Youth Platform; Moderator
  • Rep. Larry Bagley – Louisiana House of Representatives, District 7; Chairman, Health and Welfare Committee
  • Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne – Louisiana Division of Administration
  • Dr. Manfred Dix - Chief Economist for the State of Louisiana, Louisiana Division of Administration
  • Sen. Cleo Fields – Louisiana Senate, District 14; Chairman, Education Committee
  • Speaker Pro-Temp Rep. Tanner Magee – Louisiana House of Representatives, District 53
  • Secretary Kimberly L. Robinson – Secretary of Revenue, Louisiana Department of Revenue
  • Sen. Mack “Bodi” White – Louisiana Senate, District 6; Chairman, Finance Committee
  • Rep. Jerome “Zee” Zeringue – Louisiana House of Representatives, District 52; Chairman, Appropriations Committee

“The Manship School and the Reilly Center are well poised to facilitate such an important conversation among state legislators and public officials,” LSU Manship School Dean Martin Johnson said. “This discussion on our state’s approach to legislating amid a global health pandemic is a prime example of our commitment to generating intentional, thoughtful programming, research and discourse on government and public affairs.”

Registration for “Legislating in the Time of COVID-19” can be found at Eventbrite: Communications & COVID-19. Registrants will receive a YouTube link and information on how to join. The event will be livestreamed and recorded on the Manship School’s YouTube channel.


The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs is partnership-driven, action-oriented and dedicated to exploring contemporary issues at the intersection of mass communication and public life. Its interdisciplinary approach draws together experts from diverse fields to advance research and dialogue. The intent is to inspire our communities to think deeply, take action, develop solutions and broaden knowledge. Underlying the Center’s endeavors is to strengthen and advance the Manship School’s national and state leadership in media and politics.

LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication ranks among the strongest collegiate communication programs in the country, with its robust emphasis on media and public affairs. It offers undergraduate degrees in public relations, journalism, political communication, digital advertising and pre-law, along with four graduate degree programs: master of mass communication, Ph.D. in media and public affairs, certificate of strategic communication and dual MMC/law degree.

Contact Kelci Sibley | LSU Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs | 225-335-5672 | ksibley1@lsu.edu