BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - State Representative Lance Harris has filed legislation that would allow the Board of Regents to have the first right of refusal on state contracts involving federal funds.
According to State Treasurer John Kennedy, the legislation will benefit financially struggling public colleges and universities by steering more federal funds to them.
"Harris' bill will be good for two reasons," says Kennedy. "First it will direct money more money to higher education, which desperately needs the dollars. Second, it will take control away from NGOs and consultants that are wasting tax payer money on salaries, luxury cars, vacations and fine dining."
The bill will put public colleges and universities first, instead of consultants and nongovernmental organizations, when it comes to the administration of federal dollars made available to the state for grant programs.
"For too long, the Board of Regents-the citizens responsible for the solvency and health of our state's universities-has not had full ability to pursue outside grants to bolster their missions," says Kennedy. "This bill helps put higher education in Louisiana first."
The legislation will create a clearinghouse for contracts and grants that can be handled by higher education. State agencies will have to contact the clearinghouse before offering the work to consultants and NGOs.