The Louisiana Senate chamber, photographed on Feb. 2, 2022. (Greg LaRose/Louisiana Illuminator)
The Louisiana Legislature passed two proposed constitutional amendments Sunday that would give the state Senate power to confirm or reject the governor’s appointments to the State Police Commission and Civil Service Commission.
Senate Bill 75 and Senate Bill 160, both sponsored by Sen. Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge, received overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers. They will be placed on the Dec. 10 statewide ballot for consideration by Louisiana voters.
The Civil Service Commission is a seven-member board that has final authority on all personnel matters concerning most full-time state employees. The governor appoints six of the seven commissioners, and the seventh is an employee representative that workers statewide choose.
The State Police Commission is an independent civil service board for state troopers. Its makeup is similar to the civil service board.
Both commissions hold significant power in that they can overturn employee terminations, disciplinary actions and workplace policies that state agency heads enact. The State Police Commission, for instance, can ignore or negate the findings of internal investigations into troopers accused of excessive use of force or other misconduct.
Fields said all other boards and commissions in the state constitution require Senate confirmation of gubernatorial appointments.
The Senate maintains a tradition in which a single senator can “blackball” or block confirmation if the nominee lives in that senator’s district.
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