With state senators abandoning ship for statewide posts and new public jobs, and state representatives stepping up to become senators, and parish councilmen and mayors pushing to fill those vacancies, there has been a long string of special elections in recent months.
Over the course of the current term of the Louisiana Legislature, taxpayers have footed the bill for more than $1 million worth of special elections—basically, 32 unexpected contests—according to the Legislative Auditor’s Office, the most in the nation during that time frame.
And based on a search of the secretary of state’s election database, legislative leaders have called seven such races since November, including five this year, despite regularly scheduled elections slated for the fall.
There’s nothing he can do about the legislators’ happy feet, but House Appropriations Chairman Jim Fannin, a Jonesboro Democrat, has introduced a constitutional amendment to bring Louisiana’s vacancy procedures in line with other southern states. His House Bill 359 calls for legislative openings to be filled by temporary appointments; the appointees would serve until the regular four-year elections are held again.
Full Article: :: Baton Rouge Business Report :: The cost of democracy.