Sen. Cleo Fields says, 'The people of Louisiana certainly do not mind transparency' following approval of senate confirmation for some governor appointees

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Over the weekend, Louisiana voters approved two amendments to the constitution that will create senate approval for gubernatorial appointed positions on two boards.

State Sen. Cleo Fields looked at the State Police Commission and Civil Service Commission, each with six governor appointed positions, and wanted more transparency. He carried both bills for the constitutional amendments in the 2022 legislative session.

“We had two constitutional boards that did not have any vetting whatsoever,” Sen. Fields said.

The governor selects from three nominees he is given from each president of major private universities in the state (Centenary College, Dillard University, Louisiana Christian University, Loyola University, Tulane University and Xavier University.)

The State Police Commission oversees personnel and disciplinary issues in the department.

Sen. Fields said the commission sets the tone for state police – so who is put on the board is critical. The legislature is required to allocate state funds to be put towards the State Police Commission so he felt the legislature should get the final approval of the members.

“It is a very, very powerful board. They are to set the tone for State Police. And the same thing with the Civil Service Commission. The Civil Service Commission was created before State Police, and State Police just patterned its practice after the Civil Service Commission,” Sen. Fields said.

The Civil Service Commission handles those same issues for state employees. Now any new appointees by the governor will be sent to the senate for approval.

“They do things like you have to be current on your taxes, they do criminal background checks and then that member would be requested to come before the body and the body would then question that member,” Sen. Fields said.

Fields said he only faced a small amount of pushback on the amendment. Some claimed it would bring politics into the boards, but legislators as well as voters did not agree.

“It’s an indication that the people of Louisiana certainly do not mind transparency and certainly want transparency,” Sen. Fields said. “They see nothing wrong with a person being appointed by the governor going to the senate to be confirmed.”

The first round of senate confirmations can be expected during the next legislative session as multiple members of the Civil Service Commission are termed out.

Terms for both boards are for six years.