La. state senator wants to bring checks and balances to LSP commission

A new proposal at the Louisiana State Capitol would require those on the LSP Commission to be confirmed by the Senate before they could start their position.
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 6:01 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A new proposal at the Louisiana State Capitol would require those on the Louisiana State Police Commission to be confirmed by the Senate before they could start their position.

The commission has a lot of authority when it comes to the internal affairs of the agency. And, for that reason, Sen. Cleo Fields (D) wants to bring more checks and balances to the process of filling those positions. Since most of the members of the commission are not elected to their position, Sen. Fields sees this as a problem.

“The State Police Commission is a seven-member commission. Six of the members are appointed by the governor without Senate confirmation and the seventh member is elected from the membership of the board,” said Sen. Fields.

Under SB75, his proposal would require each of the members appointed by the Governor to be approved and vetted by the Senate. The commission holds a great deal of power when it comes to disciplinary actions of troopers and setting policy for the agency. Louisiana is also, according to Sen. Fields, the only state in the nation that has a State Police Commission written in its constitution.

“A board of this magnitude should have confirmation. I mean we confirm Supreme Court justices, there’s no reason to not confirm State Police,” Sen. Fields added.

WAFB reached out to the commission, but they declined to comment until it was finalized.

According to the Louisiana Governor’s Office, “the State Police Commission plays an important role in law enforcement, and the Governor is confident that anyone he would nominate would be qualified and confirmed by the Senate.”

“We wanna make sure that they do some of the basic things. You know, making sure your taxes are paid, that you don’t have a criminal record, you know, those are basic things that you have to pass when you go through Senate confirmation,” Sen. Fields continued.

Since this is a constitutional amendment, a 2/3 vote is needed on the floor, and voters will be able to approve the proposal or not when the midterm election rolls around on Nov. 8, 2022.

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