WEEKLY: GOP Chair Targets Agency Heads

The last bill that House GOP Delegation Chair Lance Harris filed for the regular session seeks to add "new layers of transparency" to the way agency and department heads do their state jobs and earn money.

Harris’ HB 849 take a hard look at the top officials appointed by the governor and lieutenant governor. The bill has been assigned to the Appropriations Committee and the initial hearing, expected some time over the next two weeks, will likely put behinds in the seats.

Amendments are said to be in the works, but Harris’ bill as introduced would force secretaries and directors to work "at least seven hours per day… and at least 40 hours per week." In what some see as more pointed language, the legislation prohibits department and agency heads from engaging in any outside employment related to the mission of their department or agency.

"I don’t think we have anyone doing that right now," Harris said when asked about the bill. "But maybe we’ll hear about it during the process."

In somewhat related news, another bill is on the move to create an ethics code exception for licensed physicians to both work at the Louisiana Department of Health and to practice medicine outside of their departmental roles. HB 724 by Rep. Dustin Miller is scheduled for a House floor vote on Monday.

This story was originally published in LaPOLITICS Weekly on April 5, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite community by subscribing today!

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