The Legislative Fiscal Officer is arguably an important official of the Louisiana Lege. That person oversees a staff that prepares non-biased, non-partisan, fiscal information, including revenue estimates, to the lege and the public.
The office also is responsible for providing Fiscal Notes (fiscal impact statements) on all measures having a financial impact introduced during the lege session.
The Fiscal Officer is chosen by a majority of the elected members of both bodies of the lege.
Last year, the Fiscal Officer retired and an interim person was appointed to replace him.
As required by law, during the 2013 Regular Session, the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees, separately, interviewed three candidates for the permanent positions.
Apparently, they were the only three who applied for this six-figure job. All three are currently on the staff of the LFO or legislative staff with the necessary credentials and experience to qualify for the office.
It was reported that the leges failed to vote on a new Fiscal Officer during the session. “We were just too busy,” Senate President John Alario said. Sunday Advocate, June 9, 2013.
Except for the last week of the session, the leges barely had enough to do to keep them busy more than 4 less than full days a week, but they were “too busy” to take a vote on this important office.
Perhaps the real reason for the failure to vote is because it is easier for the lege leadership to arrange a pre-determined outcome when the leges are not in session.
In any case, something smells.