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Government Transparency and Ethics Reform in Louisiana

An issue that is near and dear to my heart, considering that I live in Louisiana, is that of recent government ethics reform initiatives from Governor Bobby Jindal. He was the focus of a recent New York Times article mentioning the “extensive package of ethics bills” passed recently.

One such bill includes House Bill 1 which “Enacts personal financial disclosures for the vast majority of elected and appointed officials in state and local government for the first time in Louisiana’s history”.

Not everyone is happy about these changes. My favorite quote in the New York Times article:

“The volume of grumbling suggested real change was afoot.

‘This is huge,’ said D. W. Hunt, a veteran lobbyist at the Capitol. ‘This is a sea change. This will seriously, dramatically change things. The meta-theme is the transparency.’ “

Can you see the sweat on his forehead?

Louisiana is considered to rank low nationally on state ethics, but according to a statement issued by The Center for Public Integrity, these bills may put Louisiana in the top tier of states with tough ethics rules. Hopefully this will be the case, but we shall have to wait and see…

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