2023 Louisiana Legislation Watch
Analysis & Talking Points
Current law provides for parish governments to establish library boards, consisting of five to seven community members, with staggered five-year terms (so that the entire board is not replaced all at once).
HB360 proposes to MAKE AN EXCEPTION for Livingston Parish, where recent attempts to ban books have been unsuccessful, despite a hostile Parish Council and the resignations of both the Director and Assistant Director. Not content with ousting one board member, the Council, working with Rep. Hodges, now wants to fire the entire board, and reappoint a total of nine new members (four more than currently serve) in order to push through their agenda.
This is obviously a blatant attempt to rig the system and cause further havoc at the Livingston Parish Library Board of Control, simply because those in favor of censorship and book bans have not been able to achieve their goals. There is absolutely no cause to waste the Legislature's time changing the makeup of this board other than to accomplish legislatively what they simply could not politically. It's a farce, frankly.
1. Current law already provides for parish governmental entities to establish library boards. There is absolutely no reason to make an exception for Livingston Parish, and certainly not just cause to fire the entire Parish's library board through a legislative instrument. This is a waste of both the legislature's time and the taxpayer's money.
2. Simply losing a vote or an election is not justification for deciding to rewrite the rules or firing an entire duly appointed board. This is antithetical to the democratic ideals of the United State of America. Stacking a board with extra seats in order to achieve one's desired political outcome is not only dishonest, it's undemocratic.