Apr 13, 2010 6:05 PM by Melissa Canone
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - People convicted of public corruption
would be prohibited from bidding on state and local government
construction projects, under a bill that received House committee
approval Tuesday without objection.
"We have a history of rampant corruption in Louisiana," said
Rep. Walker Hines, D-New Orleans. "This bill will help restore
public trust and confidence in our ability to protect Louisiana's
taxpayers' hard-earned dollars."
The measure (House Bill 718) would permanently bar anyone who
was convicted or who pleaded guilty to public bribery, corrupt
influencing, malfeasance in office or money laundering from bidding
for a public works contract.
Anyone who was convicted or who pleaded guilty to a second list
of crimes - ranging from theft and issuing worthless checks to
forgery - would be prohibited from bidding on the conracts for five
years if the crime was committed in connection with a government
Rep. Hollis Downs, R-Ruston, supported Hines' bill but took
issue with Hines' statement about state history.
"We all know our history far too well, but let's just avoid
blanket condemnations," Downs told Hines.
The bill, approved by the House Transportation Committee, heads
next to the full House for debate.