CABL opposes levee legislation

The Council for a Better Louisiana told senators Monday that it opposes legislation that would give Gov. Bobby Jindal new authority to oust members of the Southeast Flood Control Authority.

In a memo, CABL said it has “some fundamental problems” with Senate Bill 79 which would allow the governor to oust board members for “a violation of state law.”

“Removal for ‘a violation of state law’ seems to remain somewhat broad,” CABL wrote. “Entire boards in the course of their work could violate some technical aspects of state law.” For example, if a public meeting is not properly noticed or an agenda item is inappropriately considered by the board there could be a violation of state law, the public interest group said.

CABL also noted that the legislation would “be charting new territory.”

“Why should this type of unique language apply to only these two boards?” CABL asked. “What kind of effect would this have on independent board members who might be continually looking over their shoulders to determine what a governor is thinking on an issue versus using their own best judgment and analysis?”

The legislation would grant the governor and all future governors the authority to determine what violation state law with regard to the actions of levee boards and their members, CABL said. “In doing so, it gives the governor powers that appropriately reside with the judiciary….”