A lege “Who-Done-It” Friday, Jul 18 2014
Leges’ react to Edmonson Amendment
An unconstitutional amendment that was added to Senate Bill No. 294 in the waning hours of the 2014 Regular Session gave special retirement benefits to Mike Edmonson, Superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, and at least one other person. The Edmonson benefit alone amounts to an increase in his retirement pay of $30,000, annually, for the rest of his and his family’s life.
I, individually, contacted each of the 6 members of the Conference Committee in which the amendment was added. Sens JP Morrell, Neil Riser, Mike Walsworth and Reps. Walt Leger, Bryan Adams and Jeff Arnold each said they didn’t know the source of the amendment.
All had very similar responses, but none took responsibility for or ownership of the amendment. It appears that all six leges coordinated their stories.
Each of the six leges claimed to be waiting on someone else to do something about the rip-off. That means that none of the leges will do anything to stop this rip-off of the Louisiana State Police Retirement System.
Even Colonel Edmonson denied asking for the amendment.
I refer to the Edmonson amendment as the “bastard amendment” because nobody claims to be the father. Some have suggested that the amendment came about through artificial insemination, others said immaculate conception. My money’s on it being a hand job.
Lege process integrity further damaged
The fact that none of the conferees claim the amendment serves to further destroy the integrity of the lege process. If the leges want to attempt to mitigate the damage to the lege process there needs to be an internal investigation to determine how an amendment can get into legislation without a lege offering it.
AG Opinion not appropriate
Arnold wrote that he and Morrell had requested an Attorney General’s Opinion on the constitutionality of the rip-off of the LSP Retirement System. That’s merely a dilatory tactic.
As I told Arnold, the AG cannot render an opinion on the constitutionality of any legislation. The reason being is that the AG is required by the constitution to defend all Acts of the lege regardless of constitutionality or how dumb the legislation is. Therefore, it is a conflict of interest for him to rule on a matter in which he may be called on to defend in court.
The only way to make sure this rip-off doesn’t go forward is for the Board of the LSP Retirement System to litigate the constitutionality of Act 859 of the 2014 Regular Session. A first-year law student could win the case. Maybe the AG will hire Jimmy Faircloth to defend the state. That would make it the closest thing to sure winner as it gets in the courts.
The retirement system’s board has a fiduciary obligation to protect its assets. It’s time for them to do so. To see the members of the board go here.
If you know any State Troopers please forward this information to them; they are, 0bviously, better at getting people to confess than I am. That said, I have to admit getting that the truth from leges is no job for rookies.
“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill
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