Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Jindal Administration Balks at Ethics Provision

A House bill requiring greater disclosure of business conducted in the governor’s office passed through committee today despite concerns about unintended consequences, such as “chilling” negotiations with industries considering locating in Louisiana.
The House and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the bill clearing the way for House discussion after author Rep. Wayne Waddell, R-Shreveport, agreed to work with Gov. Bobby Jindal’s staff to ensure concerns would be addressed.
In arguing for the proposal, Waddell said citizens have a right to know about the inner workings of their government.
“After all, it’s their money we’re spending,” said Waddell, speaking during the third day of a special session on ethics. “It’s not our money, it’s their money.”
Jimmy Faircloth, Jindal’s executive counsel, urged committee members to put off the bill, saying opening certain records in the governor’s office to public view could stunt economic growth. Worried trade secrets and other details could be released, prospective companies likely would consider locating elsewhere. It also could curb other relationships, such as those with legislators, he said.
Complete article at The Times

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