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Session Information

2004 Regular Session Highlights

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Elections

by: Tabitha Irvin-Gray
(225) 342-0645

PUBLIC RECORDS

Senate Bill 579 by Senator Charles Jones (Act 669) was a part of the governorís package that the bill temporarily protects records in the custody of DED pertaining to an active negotiation by DED with a person for the purpose of retaining, expanding, or attracting economic or business development in this state. An active negotiation concludes when either DED or the person with whom DED is negotiating decides to no longer actively pursue the retention, expansion, or location of such business in this state, or when a proposal affecting the negotiation is submitted to a public body in a public meeting, whichever occurs first. Before records may be granted a temporary exemption from the public records law, a person must request confidentiality in writing and the secretary must make a determination of confidentiality if he finds that the release of information would be detrimental to the negotiation. A request for confidentiality include reasons for such request and an assertion that the negotiation is conditioned in whole or in part on the maintenance of such confidentiality. The expense records of the department related to the negotiation are public and subject to review. The secretary may redact information from the departmentís expense records that he determines would identify or lead to the identification of the person with whom the department is negotiating and provides that such information will be confidential until the negotiations are concluded. A 12-month limit on the protection of information pertaining to the negotiation is assessed, unless the negotiation remains active and the secretary makes a new determination of confidentiality and gives notice. No information shall remain confidential for more than 24 months from the date of the secretaryís initial determination. The legislation does not apply to an application for a license or permit or to any record or negotiations concerning any hazardous waste or waste site. A sunset provision was added that eliminates exemption from the public records law as to any negotiations.

ELECTION CODE

Senate Bill 55 by Senator Charles Jones (Act 604) requires a candidate qualifying for a state or local primary election to pay a qualifying fee when submitting the notice of candidacy. The qualifying fee is to be paid in cash or by certified or cashierís check on a state bank, national bank or credit union or by a United States postal money order or money order issued by a state bank or national bank or credit union. A candidate for president to pay a qualifying fee, as by the party, of $750 and any additional fee needed or to obtain a nominating petition of not less than one thousand voters signatures associated with the party from each congressional district. The required qualifying fee is to be paid in cash or by certified or cashierís check on a state bank, national bank, or credit union or by a United States postal money order or money order issued by a state bank, national bank or credit union.

House Bill 548 by Representative Charles Lancaster (Act 517) creates a elections compliance unit within the Secretary of Stateís Office. This unit is to initiate independent inquires and conduct independent investigations into allegations of election irregularities in any municipality or parish; to respond to complaints or notifications alleging election irregularities; review notices and reports of election irregularities and conduct investigations of any incidents that it determines require further investigation. The election compliance unit shall have authority to issue subpoenas to compel the production of records and other documents from the registrar of voters and receive sworn statements. The election compliance unit is to turn over its findings to the appropriate prosecutorial agency if it determines that there may be a violation of any criminal law or provision of the Louisiana Election Code.

Senate Bill 121 by Senator Charles Jones (pending House Appropriations) would have increased the pay for commissioners-in-charge from $175 to $200 and for commissioners who receive a course of instruction for commissioner-in-charge from $125 to $150.

REVENUE DEPARTMENT

Senate Bill 171 by Senator Reggie Dupre (withdrawn from the files of the Senate) would have provided that the membership of the Louisiana Tax Commission be comprised of 7 persons. The seven members are to be appointed, one resident from each congressional district, and be representative of the stateís population as nearly as practicable. The governor is to appoint four additional members by August 1, 2004. The governor is required to replace members on the commission if more than one member resides in the same congressional district.



Questions and comments may be directed to websen@legis.la.gov
Baton Rouge, Louisiana.