Viewpoint: March 12, 2013

Two Louisiana lawmakers want to bring more transparency to the governor's office. Rep. Jerome Richard from Thibodaux and Sen. Rick Gallot from Ruston have filed a bill that would change the way a broad public records exemption is now used.

Currently, many documents from the governor's office are shielded from public view if they are considered part of the governor's deliberative process. The proposed change would eliminate that exemption. That means records related to issues ranging from budget cuts to education to road projects could no longer be hidden from public view.

But, internal communications between the governor, his staff and executive counsel would still be shielded for up to 10 years. Security records and transportation details could be confidential for up to seven days.

This bill seems to strike a good balance between protecting the publics right to know and protecting the executive branch. We urge state lawmakers to pass it. We also urge the governor, who promised to bring more transparency to state government, to sign the bill if it makes it to his desk.