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Friday, July 03, 2009

La. governor's schedule still secret under new law

A Louisiana bill passed last week opens up some of the governor's documents previously exempted but still keeps most information under wraps, the AP reported. Sen. Robert Adley of Benton said the legislation doesn't improve access to the governor's records but takes the state "from sunshine to moonshine." The Times-Picayune of New Orleans and The Advocate of Baton Rouge editorialized against the bill which shields for six months some budget-related documents that were considered public record under the current law. The signed bill will allow some documents concerning the governor's travel to be public but will keep his schedule secret.
A bill that opens some but not all of the governor’s records to public scrutiny won final legislative passage in the Senate last week after weeks of debate and negotiations in which Gov. Bobby Jindal’s allies deflected efforts to make his schedule public or preserve his documents for the archives.

The bill, S.B. 278, will keep out of the public eye any governor’s office documents related to the “deliberative process” or intra-office communications among his top staffers. And it puts budgetary advice that state departments submit to the governor off-limits for six months.

Jindal pushed the bill as an alternative to others aimed at lifting a decades-old exemption the governor’s office has enjoyed from the state open-records law. The Senate voted 28-8 on June 24 to approve the bill that had already passed the House. The president of the Senate and the speaker of the House signed the measure June 25.

More here.

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