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Jun 10, 2011 7:40 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Lawmakers Trying to Make Governor's Records More Transparent

Some lawmakers feel Governor Jindal is hiding too much information from the public. Senator Robert Adley has been pushing for more transparency in the governor's records for years, but hopes this year his bill will finally pass.

Adley said, since Governor Jindal took office, he's made too many of his records private.
"Everything that belongs to the tax payers should be public," he explained. "What the governor said would only be applicable to his office has now spread throughout government, so access to public records in government is virtually impossible."
Senate Bill 57 aims to make the governor's records more public. He said too many things the public deserves to know are kept behind closed doors.

The most recent example came up during a senate committee meeting this week, when Governor Jindal proposed possibly selling group benefits

"The committee asked for a copy of the report that was used to determine whether or not we ought to sell it," he said. "The governor's office refused to give us a copy of the report. We now know one of the reasons is because the report pretty much said it's not a good thing to sale group benefits."

Barry Erwin with the Council for a Better Louisiana said, "the tools that the governor or some of his staff might be using to make decisions that may become public policy-we ought to have the right to see the same types of reports, so the public can understand the impact of things."

Senate Bill 57 would allow things like fiscal documents, budgetary documents and documents pertaining to the awarding of state contracts.

Anything pertaining to the governor's 'personal' dealings would not be made public. For example communication between the governor and his staff as well as things dealing with security.

Adley said, "if you can conceal records, it just creates an opportunity for abuse,. It's not to say people have done it, but it certainly gives that appearance."

The bill is heading to the senate floor on Monday, if its passed there, then it'll go on to the house for a vote.

Lawmakers said they expect the governor to veto the bill if it gets to his desk, but that veto could be overridden with enough support from legislatures.


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