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Louisiana news briefs for Thursday, May 6

State senator parks effort to implement closed party primaries

State Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, has decided not to try to advance her Senate Bill 235, which called for moving the state to closed-party primaries for congressional elections.

Louisiana currently uses open primaries, in which every candidate runs in the same race regardless of party. If a candidate gets more than half of the votes in the first round, the candidate wins; if not, the top two vote-getters move on to a runoff.

The question of whether Louisiana should move to closed-party primaries has divided Republicans. Hewitt’s bill would have called for closed primaries for Congress only.

Edwards to meet with Biden in Lake Charles

Gov. John Bel Edwards travels to Lake Charles on Thursday to meet with President Joe Biden to discuss infrastructure, hurricane recovery and the American Rescue Plan, Edwards said.

During his visit to Louisiana, Biden is expected to promote a new Interstate 10 bridge over the Calcasieu River and upgrades to the Carrollton Water Plant in New Orleans.

Edwards said he “can’t think of a better place” to discuss infrastructure than Louisiana because of the poor state of many of the state’s roads and bridges and water and sewer systems.

“It is incredibly important that we invest in infrastructure here in Louisiana and around the country,” Edwards said.

Louisiana expands digital ID to include COVID-19 vaccination information

Louisianans who choose to do so are now able to access their COVID-19 vaccination record through a new feature of the state’s digital driver’s license, known as LA Wallet.

“This enhancement is about connecting people with their own personal health information in a simple, secure way,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said of the voluntary option. “The LA Wallet app is free, safe, and private and people who use it are assured that their personal health information is well protected.”

LA Wallet launched in 2018 and is available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store and is a legal driver’s license in the state of Louisiana.

People without access to smartphones can get printed copies of their vaccine records from their parish health unit or from any provider that administers vaccines and uses the LINKS system. Residents also can print their complete immunization record through MyIR.

This article was originally posted on Louisiana news briefs for Thursday, May 6

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