What’s done in the dark won’t be coming to any type of light if our state legislators have anything to do with it. The latest head scratcher coming out of this year’s legislative session is SB482. This bill is all about keeping government records private. No more public records requests, from citizens or the media. Well, scratch that. The public could put in a request. But legislators, the governor, or any state board could simply respond with “I don’t feel comfortable sharing that.”

Imagine it, this year’s legislative session ends, and Governor Landry begins doing what governors do. He begins flying around the country meeting with people in different states and cities. If the public has any desire to know who these people are, how long the governor stayed, or where he stayed, the first section of SB482 renders those desires moot.

Under the guise of not impairing “the safety of the governor, his spouse, or his child” the first section removes from the record any type of information that involves the governor’s security detail. Clearly this is meant to keep the governor’s travel records private. If the bill had restricted this to not revealing travel information before the trip takes place, then there would be a legitimate safety argument. But what in the name of safety does restricting the records after the trip is over have to do with protection? At that point things have moved beyond protection and into the realm of unnecessarily private.

This is becoming a trend among Republican governors. In Florida’s last legislative session, Governor Ron DeSantis got legislators to file and pass a similar bill.

If all this wasn’t shady enough, the second section of the bill expands this “protection” to include any record of the meetings and minutes that go into making laws or decisions. Sen. Heather Cloud, the sponsor of the bill, feels the end product, the actual law or decision, should be the only public record made available. That’s like saying trust the sausage. Don’t worry about how it’s made.

Governor Landry said these types of public requests are being weaponized to intimidate legislators and government officials. And that protections like privatization are needed to protect the process.

If you find all this requirement for privacy a bit hypocritical, then you are not alone. A month ago legislators, at the governor’s request, got together and decided that the criminal records of juveniles should be made public. And not just what they were convicted or accused of. Also made public is their bail amount, the identity of the judge, and the identity of the prosecutor. Revealing this information protects no one. But it sure does seem like these public records could be used to intimidate judges and prosecutors. Especially in this tough on crime environment.

Related: Feed Some of These New Bills to the Rats

SB482 is set to be heard on the Senate floor today. From there, it would head to the House. And if no amendments are passed, then presumably straight to the desk of the governor. The bill passed out of committee. But ironically you would never know who voted in which way by simply looking the bill up on the public website. With that one little bout of redaction, maybe we should ask: has the privatization already begun?

One thought on “The Governor And State Legislators Don’t Want Us To Know How The Sausage Is Made”
  1. The representatives of the Louisiana residents are not listening to their constituents or “common sense”. They are being influenced by the newly elected Louisiana Governor. Governor Jeff Landry is attempting to govern Louisiana as if we live in the dark ages and he’s a dictator. The residents of Louisiana should do what they are told without an explanation or an opinion. It is 2024 and that thinking is CRAP!!!!!

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