Governor Bobby Jindal's special session for ethics reform goes on the books as a success. He basically got all of the big reforms he asked for. Most of them passed unanimously. Even so, the whining of various legislators was heard in the halls of the Legislature, and watch that you don't slip on the big crocodile tears that are still drying on the marble floors. It was apparently really tough to give up the free meals and the perks. The $50 limit on lobbyists wining and dining was almost too much to bear. Some lawmakers tried to boost the cap to $75, but thankfully, it stayed at $50.
Congratulations are in order for the big wins in making state government much more transparent and its elected officials more accountable to the citizens of the state. We are pleased that a bill to prohibit elected officials from getting free tickets from lobbyists was passed, but we are not happy that the special access to the big dollar events, like the BCS Championship, were not also prohibited.
In the end, ethics reform won by a huge margin. However, there is much work to be done. Overall, we'll give this session a "B+" on our report card, but unfortunately, we must assign a "D in conduct" to such incredible missteps as Governor Jindal being fined for campaign disclosure violations and his staff handing out free Hanna Montana tickets right in the middle of the ethics session. With that being said though, we feel the governor and our new legislature are off to a great start.