Louisiana Lobbyists, Business Groups Push State to Launch Budget Transparency Website

Louisiana business groups want state government to create a website they say would give residents a clearer picture of how taxpayers’ money is spent. Supporters say LouisianaCheckbook.com would make state and, eventually, local governments more accountable to voters and taxpayers. The proposal comes as the legislature prepares to address an estimated $1 billion budget shortfall…

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Louisiana: PAR Releases Guide to the 2016 Constitutional Amendments

The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana released the PAR Guide to the 2016 Constitutional Amendments. The Guide explains the potential impact of the six constitutional amendments that the public will consider on the Nov. 8 ballot statewide. This objective review will help voters understand the issues and the potential changes so they may develop their own positions on each proposition. View here.

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for October 11, 2013

From NFOIC:  A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week. While you're at it, be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.

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LSU criticized for handling of public records lawsuit

From LSU Reveille: As the lawsuit brought against the University by The Advocate and NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune moves to the next phase of the legal process, critics have lined up to attack the University’s methods of carrying on with the case.

The main point of criticism has been the University’s accumulation of fees relating to the lawsuit, totaling more than $140,000 between attorney fees and penalties owed to the plaintiffs and contempt of court fines owed to the court.

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Lawsuit seeks Jindal adviser’s correspondence with oil and gas industry

From The Advocate: A New Orleans environmental activist is suing the state for copies of correspondence she says could shed light on conversations between Gov. Bobby Jindal’s top coastal-protection adviser and the energy industry about a local flood-protection board’s decision to file a massive lawsuit against dozens of oil and gas companies.

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LSU board turns over presidential search records to district judge in public records lawsuit

From Daily Journal

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — The LSU Board of Supervisors has given its presidential search records to a Baton Rouge judge, who will keep them hidden during an appeal of her ruling that the documents are public records.

LSU lawyer Jimmy Faircloth says the documents were delivered in two batches Tuesday to Judge Janice Clark.

Visit Daily Journal for more.

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LSU presidential search records will be given to judge, but not public, under new compromise

From The Times-Picayune: Information about the candidates LSU considered for university president will be provided to a state district judge, but not to the public or the newspapers who are suing for the information, under a new compromise between the attorneys in the case.

The information will be kept secret until LSU finishes its appeals process, which could take months.

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La. public records suit filed against superintendent

From Houston Chronicle: BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A college student from Baton Rouge who has clashed with the education department over its voucher program filed a public records lawsuit against Superintendent of Education John White.

Zack Kopplin, who attends Rice University, said White and the Department of Education have refused to provide documents he's sought about the voucher program and a law that allows public school science teachers to use supplemental materials in their classrooms.

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Judge: LSU board could face jail if search records not released

From The Advocate: Saying daily $500 fines have not grabbed its attention, an unyielding state judge warned the LSU Board of Supervisors on Monday that it now faces additional sanctions, including possible jail time, if it does not immediately comply with her more than four-month-old order to make public the records of its secret presidential search.

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Judge threatens imprisonment, suspension of LSU board of supervisors in presidential records case

From The Times-Picayune: A district judge in Baton Rouge ordered the LSU Board of Supervisors on Monday to turn over records related to the university’s presidential search, or face consequences that could include stopping all further court proceedings, suspending the board of supervisors, or imprisonment.

Saying “the court is very loathe to take these measures,” Judge Janice Clark told LSU’s lawyer that she “strongly urges and encourages your clients to comply” with her orders and turn over the records immediately.

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