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Panelist Bio


Mark Ballard
Editor, The Advocate's Capitol News Bureau

Mark Ballard has been the editor in charge of The Advocate's Capitol news bureau since 2007. The Capitol news bureau is among the largest desks covering state government in the country. The CNB has six reporters in the State Capitol and a reporter stationed in the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Mr. Ballard attended LSU as an undergraduate and received his Master’s degree from Columbia. He has covered the legislature in Texas and the state assembly in New York. He has also worked for American Lawyer's magazines in Texas and Newark and The National Law Journal newspaper. Mr. Ballard has received a National Investigative Reporters and Editors award and a National Headliner award. He rejoined The Advocate during the 2004 regular legislative session and is also the editor of the Sunday column, Political Horizons.

Current Topic


07/14 - Defining “Dangerous”

How does Louisiana determine if someone is a danger to themselves or others?

Special Presentation


Breaking Away:  A Louisiana Public Square Special Presentation

Would the breakaway City of St. George quash Baton Rouge’s school desegregation progress?

Coming Soon!


08/14 - Down the Road: Our Transportation Future

What should the state’s transportation priorities be?

Recent Topics


06/14 - Pot or Not? The Decriminalization Debate (Encore Presentation)

Would a reduction in penalties encourage more usage and lead the state down a path to legalization?


05/14 - Job Market 2014

What does Louisiana’s employment market look like for job hunters in 2014?


04/14 - State Contracts 101

Will proposed legislation help rein in costs or create arbitrary caps that hinder agencies in delivering services?


03/14 - Louisiana and The Minimum Wage

Should Louisiana develop its own minimum wage?

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