This weeks Gambit Weekly highlighted several ethics reforms proposed in the State Legislature
Mandatory Ethics Training (HB 493 and SB 247). Many ethical violations are inadvertent. By requiring all elected and certain appointed officials to get training in ethics laws, such violations can be reduced.
They have a point, in that most ethics violations are minor and inadvertent, however they take up time and resources that could be spent go after “real” violations. As it stands there is no instruction of any kind. Simply making the Legislators familiar with some of the do’s and don’ts makes sense.
Personally I prefer to imagine it the same way James Gill suggests:
Seriously, LA Ethics 1 has put together an impressive array of proposed reforms that nearly everyone can get behind…Except for seasoned pols, and that’s the rub. But then, who would have believed that Levee board consolidation could have happened, a few years ago. The Times-Pic describes how some of the legislators feel about these efforts.
But the representatives took those actions only after weakening some of the measures and sharply questioning -- at times berating -- LA Ethics 1 members who came to the Capitol for "Ethics Day" and donned buttons bearing their organization's logo. Some of the same legislators alternated between arguing that some proposals go too far, while essentially mocking the effectiveness of other proposals they said don't go far enough.
Maybe this is a first rather naïve step, but making Ethics a capital letter issue the next election could begin the process of cleaning up some of the mess. LA Ethics 1 has an interface for contacting your Representatives and Senators, I would suggest you drop them a note and let them know how you feel.
Angered by the continued delays in getting federal recovery dollars into the hands of hurricane victims, a state Senate committee on Thursday took out its frustrations on Gov. Kathleen Blanco's handpicked policy-making board.
"Their job was to put policies in place. They've done that. Now let's get money to the people," said Sen. Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge... The legislation would transfer the Recovery Authority's functions to the state's Office of Community Development, which has day-to-day responsibility for overseeing the troubled Road Home grant program.
His pants are not mentioned anywhere in the Bill, but somehow I think he might confuse “people” and “pants” they both begin with “p”, and Fields is a product of the
Abolishing the LRA would be no more than a misguided way to score political points with constituents frustrated with the Road Home, while doing nothing to actually make the program work better. The responsible way to vote on this bill is a clear "no."
Reps. James Fannin, D-Jonesboro, and Taylor Townsend, D-Natchitoches, have also filed bills to change the code. Both of those measures would exempt central and northern
Funny thing is, in Mississippi where Katrina made a direct hit, the disaster area extended farther north than the Louisiana-Arkansas line, let alone I-10.
I would also point out that the code in question nearly all of the country and
We will see how these proposals progress. But the Louisiana State Legislature web site has contact information, their FAQ can tell you how to find out who your Rep is and how to contact them. It is worth bookmarking, you never know when the people may need to send a message of our own.