Signed, sealed: Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed several major spending bills for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, his office announced, The Center Square reports. The bills include a $74 million budget for the Legislature, a $183.6 million budget for the judiciary and the $90 million parish government revenue-sharing bill. Edwards has not yet signed HB1, the main state operating budget the Legislature passed with two weeks to spare in the session, which must end by 6 p.m. Thursday. The Legislature has not yet passed a state construction budget. Read the full story.
Shots: President Joe Biden’s administration plans to donate 500 million coronavirus vaccine doses produced by Pfizer Inc. to the rest of the world, according to The Wall Street Journal. The administration expects 200 million of the Pfizer doses will go to other countries this year and 300 million across the first half of next year. White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients and his team reportedly negotiated the deal to buy the doses from Pfizer over the past four weeks. Read the full story.
Resignation: Louisiana’s gambling regulatory chief, Mike Noel, told the governor Wednesday that he’s resigning, preempting a Senate confirmation hearing where Noel could have been questioned about his State Police work during the fatal arrest of a Black man whose death remains under investigation. Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office said Noel’s departure as chairman of the Gaming Control Board will take effect Thursday. The governor’s spokesperson, Christina Stephens, did not respond to questions about why Noel was leaving the post. Read the full story.