Politics Column for March 10, 2013

Rep. to try again with term limit bill

Republican state Rep. Simone Champagne will try once again to limit the terms of office for statewide elected officials — other than the governor.

The governor is already under a consecutive two-term limit, but there’s no limit today on lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state treasurer and commissioners of insurance and agriculture.

Champagne, R-Jeanerette, has filed a proposed constitutional amendment that would limit the six offices.

Under the proposal “a person who has served in a statewide elected office for more than two and one-half terms in three consecutive terms ... shall not be elected to that same office for the succeeding term.” The term limit would start with service that began on or after Jan. 9, 2012.

The proposal requires two-thirds support of the Legislature and then approval by voters in a statewide election.

Templet to offer panel rule change

With Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration moving more traditional state jobs to the private sector, the state Civil Service Commission is trying to make sure its role in the approval process is clear.

Civil Service director Shannon Templet told the commission last week that a Civil Service rule has not been changed to reflect a 2003 court case decided by the Louisiana Supreme Court, even though it’s been enforcing it.

The court set a new standard, Templet said.

“Is the contract for reasons of ‘efficiency and economy’ and not as a pretext for religious or political discrimination?” she said.

Templet said some employees are misconstruing Civil Service’s purpose so she will present a proposed rule change for commission approval in April.

Williams plans
on shorter walks

State Rep. Patrick Williams will be driving, instead of walking, to the legislative session this year.

Williams, D-Shreveport, traditionally walks more than eight hours a day to make the trek from north Louisiana to Baton Rouge in an effort to raise awareness for autism and other health issues.

“After four times, these old feet can’t take it anymore,” he said.

Williams said he plans to participate in a local, shorter walk for autism two days before the start of session.

Cortez cellphone rings in hearing

At the start of a legislative hearing on the split of Louisiana high school football playoffs between public and private schools, state Sen. Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, asked coaches and others in the crowded committee room to turn off their cellphones.

Moments later a phone rang.

It was Cortez’s.

He said it was the governor’s office, put his phone aside and the hearing continued.

Claitor, Fletcher
back on the air

State Sen. Dan Claitor and political consultant Roy Fletcher have returned to the radio airwaves with their talk show.

The show is 1 p.m. Saturdays on radio station TALK 107.3 at WBRP-FM.

“It’s a review of national and Louisiana politics,” said Claitor, R-Baton Rouge.

Claitor said show topics include Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposal to eliminate income taxes, the upcoming state budget and education law changes with administration and legislative leaders as featured guests.

Mineral panel gets
two new appointees

Gov. Bobby Jindal has replaced two members of the Louisiana State Mineral Board.

Jindal’s new appointees are Dan Brouillette, of Shavano Park, Texas, and R.E. Miller of Morgan City.

Brouillette is the senior vice president of public affairs and government relations for USAA. He previously was the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy from 2001 to 2003.

Miller is the founder of Major Equipment and Remediation Services, Inc.

The 11-member body has the authority to lease state property for the development and production of minerals, oil, and gas.

Jindal in Washington to address Gridiron

Gov. Bobby Jindal travelled to Washington, D.C. Saturday to address the Gridiron Club Dinner, according to his press office.

Jindal plans to return to Baton Rouge on Sunday.

Broom to highlight issues in public meet

State Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, is holding a community meeting Monday night at the LSU Medical Clinic Community Room.

Broome, D-Baton Rouge, is highlighting the legislative issues for the upcoming general session, which begins April 8, that might be important to the residents of north Baton Rouge.

Broome says she plans to bring representatives from agencies, such as the Department of Revenue and the state Department of Insurance Consumer Advocacy, and the Baton Rouge Community College Continuing Education Division to answer questions, according to a press release.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and will finish by 8 p.m. at the clinic, 5445 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge.

Tezeno to speak
at Press Club of BR

Albert Tezeno, associate vice chancellor for student success at Southern University, will address the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday.

Tezeno will discuss the retention and recruitment efforts underway to reverse the enrollment decline at Southern.

Press Club meets on Mondays at De La Ronde Hall, which is located at 320 Third St. in downtown Baton Rouge. Lunch, which is served at 11:30 a.m., is $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers. The public is invited.

17th La. governor topic of seminar

Historian Charlsa Moore will give a lecture Thursday about Louisiana’s 17th governor Thursday at the Old Governor’s Mansion.

The focus of Moore’s 6:30 p.m. talk will be Henry Watkins Allen, who governed Louisiana from 1864 to 1865.

Moore will touch on Allen’s life as a planter, a soldier and a politician.

The mansion is at 502 North Blvd. Call (225) 387-2464 for more information.

Officials to lead forum on education

Former Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch and state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education President Chas Roemer will discuss education system changes Thursday in Baton Rouge.

Leaders with Vision is hosting the noon luncheon at Drusilla Restaurant’s ballroom, 3482 Drusilla Lane.

The cost is $22 for members and $27 for nonmembers.

Ravitch also is holding a Town Hall starting at 5:30 p.m. at the ballroom in the BREC Administrative Building, 6201 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge

Compiled by the Capitol news bureau. Contact email address is cnb@theadvocate.com.