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(62,640 posts)
Fri May 10, 2024, 02:10 PM May 10

LA: Bill to hide local governments records from public nears final passage

Legislation that would allow local governments in Louisiana to hide many of their records from the public has cleared one of its last committee hurdles and is nearing final passage in the Legislature.

House Bill 461 by Rep. Steven Jackson, D-Shreveport, would exempt records related to local and parish economic development projects from Louisiana’s Public Records Law. An amended version of the proposal cleared the Committee on Senate and Governmental Affairs without objection Wednesday.

The bill would allow a mayor, parish president or top local government official to declare any records confidential if they determine their public release “would have a detrimental effect” on an active business negotiation. It would also allow the company or person negotiating with the government to request confidentiality.

All states and the federal government have some version of a “sunshine” law for records. However, Louisiana lawmakers have gradually chipped away at the state’s Public Records Law, adopting more than two dozen changes that have revoked access to a long list of government records since the law was enacted in 1940.


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(71,236 posts)
1. This would let local governments hide any records they want simply by declaring them related to economic development, ac
Fri May 10, 2024, 02:15 PM
May 10

Well, this bill will increase the likelihood of corruption. Officials will have no one looking over their shoulders.
While there are a many good people in government--there are also a lot of not so good folks eager to make a pretty penny!

.............This would let local governments hide any records they want simply by declaring them related to economic development, according to First Amendment attorney Scott Sternberg.


(9,241 posts)
2. Louisiana lately seems to be taking an ULTRA-fascist highway to hell.
Fri May 10, 2024, 02:15 PM
May 10

The state doesn't make as much news as Texas or Florida, but what's happening there might even be worse.


(9,241 posts)
4. It doesn't seem like they can look far enough into the future to see that it will hurt them, too.
Fri May 10, 2024, 02:31 PM
May 10

I think most of them voted with their autopilot brain instead of their slow brain.


(15,973 posts)
5. They are in a race to the bottom. Not sure who is trailing, but Alabama, Missippii, Texass, and Floriduh
Fri May 10, 2024, 02:38 PM
May 10

all seem to be in the running. Funny how they are all in that section of the country that loves them some slavery.


(2,755 posts)
9. NJ has an Open Public Records Act
Fri May 10, 2024, 05:07 PM
May 10

but when I requested the transcripts of several closed session meetings that concerned the road that I live on, the "minutes" were pretty much redacted except for the name of my road. So even then, there's room for hanky-panky.

I could have spent thousands of dollars in legal fees and spent several months of back and forth negotiations just to find out that the township was denying ownership of the road they had maintained, plowed and collected refuse from for more than 65 years- but received a legal notice of that before I could do that.

$70,000 later, we own the road and need to maintain it ourselves. We were able to squeeze the municipality to continue to collect garbage and recycling.

I just had to vent here.
Please keep in mind that I am a former council member and mayor as well as spent decades in community volunteering. I quit everything.

Everything a township does should be completely transparent. I know from experience that closed session discussions can be a slippery slope that can be abused easily.

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