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Petition requests parish control over reopening Louisiana businesses

Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — A Louisiana state senator is circulating an online petition to let more local bodies choose whether to reopen their businesses to the public.

Sen. Sharon Hewitt’s “Open Louisiana Now” petition is collecting signatures as Gov. John Bel Edwards extended a statewide stay-at-home order until May 15. The order has left barber shops, spas and salons closed, while restaurants run on takeout- or delivery-only policies statewide.

“Every area is different, and the type of industries in those areas are difference,” Hewitt, a Slidell Republican, told BRProud.com over the phone Monday. “No one person can map out the perfect plan.”

Shortly after Edwards announced his extension — citing thousands of COVID-19 cases still active across Louisiana — he voiced skepticism over a parish-by-parish fix.

“You have enough population centers around the state where cases are increasing and hospitalizations are increasing,” Edwards said. “I don’t feel it’s appropriate to do this by region or by parish.”

The governor plans to announce by May 11 whether or not he will extend his stay-at-home order again. He said he will base his decision on COVID-19 test access and results.

Hewitt’s petition has more than 7,500 signatures as of Monday afternoon.

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