Wednesday, January 16th was the third and final day of the Louisiana House’s historic Organizational Session. Speaker Jim Tucker scheduled a day-long briefing on Louisiana’s Code of Governmental Ethics. This briefing led one hundred Representatives through the intricacies and pitfalls of Louisiana’s Code and informed them about the requirements for financial disclosure and lobbyist regulation.
The three hour morning session was peppered with questions from Representatives trying to understand the breadth and scope of the Code. Members learned about restrictions on their private income, limits on assisting others in dealing with government, and prohibitions against their aiding themselves, their families, or businesses in dealing with the state. Members also learned about prohibitions against their having contracts with the state or its agencies.
The afternoon brought the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Administrator and Deputy General Counsel of the Board of Ethics to the chamber to present on the make-up, functions, and operations of the Board. This session also saw lively discourse between Representatives and the Board.
The Ethics Briefing was roundly described as “eye-opening” by Representatives and many thanked Speaker Tucker for giving them the opportunity to understand Louisiana’s Ethics Code before they embarked upon the announced February special session on ethics reform.