BATON ROUGE, LA – The Senate unanimously embraced legislation Monday that will help higher education and curb corruption in Louisiana, according to State Treasurer John Kennedy. “The Senate adopted a package of bills that will generate sorely needed dollars for our public colleges and universities,” said Treasurer Kennedy. “The bills also will stop government waste while bringing transparency to the use of public dollars.” The Senate voted 36-0 in favor of HB30 by state Rep. Dee Richard. The legislation, which requires legislative approval for consulting contracts worth $40,000 or more, now goes to the governor’s desk for his signature. Savings generated by rejected contracts will benefit higher education. “Given the overwhelming support for this bill, I am hopeful that the governor will sign it this year,” said Treasurer Kennedy. “Rep. Richard has worked tirelessly to bring sunshine to the thousands of consulting contracts that are hidden from view. Justify the worthwhile contracts to the public and get rid of the rest so our colleges aren’t on life support.” The Senate voted 38-0 in favor of HB376 by state Rep. Lance Harris. The legislation, which now returns to the House for concurrence on an amendment, gives higher education the first right of refusal on grants paid for with federal dollars. These contracts currently are awarded to nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs, with little oversight. “The Legislative Auditor’s Office just released a report on an NGO that was using public dollars for Caribbean cruises, a luxury car, fine dining, satellite radio, theater tickets and laser tag,” said Treasurer Kennedy. “Our colleges and universities can do this work and do it right.”

Michelle Millhollon
(225) 342-0012