Today’s Obscure State Board Appointment Docu-Dump

Last week we noted the questionable existence of Louisiana’s Board of Massage Therapy, and the deletirious effect such regulatory bodies have on both the state’s budget and its economic growth through restriction of trade.

As we said in that piece, we get notices of appointments to obscure and dubious state boards on a constant basis. Today was no different.

Here’s a sampling:

Governor Bobby Jindal Announces the Appointment of Bernadine Williams to the Addictive Disorders Regulatory Authority

BATON ROUGE- Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced the appointment of Bernadine Williams to the Addictive Disorders Regulatory Authority.

The Commission on Addictive Disorders was organized to promote and sustain healthy lifestyles for individuals, families and communities by maintaining a comprehensive and accessible system of treatment services that are part of a fully integrated healthcare system.  The commission serves to develop ideas and programs that increase public awareness and help prevent the abuse of alcohol, drugs, and compulsive gambling.

According to statute, the board consists of seven voting members and one nonvoting member, all of whom shall be appointed by the governor, subject to Senate confirmation, including:

  • One nonvoting member who possesses significant knowledge in the area of addiction from a list of three names submitted by the Louisiana State Medical Society.
  • One voting member who possesses significant experience and knowledge in the area of compulsive gambling from a list of three names submitted by the Louisiana Association of Substance Abuse Counselors and Trainers, Inc.
  • One voting member who possesses significant experience and knowledge in the area of prevention from a list of three names submitted by the Louisiana Association of Substance Abuse Counselors and Trainers, Inc.
  • One voting member who possesses significant experience and knowledge in the area of opiate replacement therapy from a list of three names submitted by the Louisiana Association of Substance Abuse Counselors and Trainers, Inc.
  • Four voting members from a list of twelve names divided into four groups of three names each submitted by the Louisiana Association of Substance Abuse Counselors and Trainers, Inc.  

Bernadine Williams, of Harvey, is an assistant executive director for Raintree Children & Family Services and was formerly a program coordinator for Responsibility House Social Detox.  Williams will be appointed to serve as a voting member who possesses significant experience and knowledge in the area of compulsive gambling and submitted by the Louisiana Association of Substance Abuse Counselors and Trainers, Inc., as required by statute. 

No disrespect to Ms. Williams, but honk if you’ve ever heard of the Addictive Disorders Regulatory Authority.

Governor Bobby Jindal Announces the Reappointment of Verge Ausberry, Jr. to the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Lottery Corporation

BATON ROUGE- Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced the reappointment of Verge Ausberry, Jr. to the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Lottery Corporation.

The Board of Directors for the Louisiana State Lottery Corporation oversees the daily activities involved with running the corporation and works to ensure the highest level of accountability by reviewing its budget, administrative rules and drawings.

According to statute, the board is comprised of nine gubernatorial appointments, including one member from each of the seven congressional districts and two members must serve as at-large members. The appointments are subject to senate confirmation. Louisiana State Treasurer John Kennedy will serve as an ex-officio board member.

 Verge Ausberry, Jr., of Baton Rouge, is the Senior Associate Athletic Director at Louisiana State University.  Ausberry is a member of the Recreation and Park Commission for East Baton Rouge Parish and will be reappointed to represent the 6th Congressional District, as required by statute.

We know Verge, and he’s a good guy. The Lottery isn’t particularly obscure. One wonders why it isn’t cut loose and privatized, though – wouldn’t that board be better selected by stockholders?

Governor Bobby Jindal Announces the Appointment of Jacqueline Shellington to the HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis C Commission

BATON ROUGE- Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced the appointment of Jacqueline Shellington to the HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis C Commission.

The HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis C Commission serves as an advisory body to the governor and the Department of Health and Hospitals on AIDS, HIV and Hepatitis C related matters.

The commission is responsible for coordinating forums on AIDS, HIV and Hepatitis C related matters among state agencies, local government, and other nongovernmental groups.  The commission researches and reviews all state regulations, guidelines, policies, and procedures relative to the prevention, treatment and care of HIV infection, AIDS, and Hepatitis C and, when appropriate, makes recommendations to the governor, the secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals, and the legislature.
           
The HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis C Commission consists of the following 29 governor’s appointments:

  • Two persons infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), at least one of whom represents a racial or ethnic subpopulation.
  • Two persons infected with hepatitis C, where one person is co-infected with HIV, and at least one of whom represents a racial or ethnic subpopulation.
  • Two representatives from community-based provider organizations providing services to persons infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, one of which represents a racial or ethnic subpopulation.
  • Two medically qualified representatives from a medical provider or community-based provider organizations providing services to persons infected with hepatitis C, one of which represents a racial or ethnic subpopulation.
  • One representative from the Louisiana Primary Care Association.
  • Two representatives from the Ryan White Consortia.
  • Two representatives from the statewide HIV Prevention Community Planning Group.
  • One physician representative from the Louisiana State Medical Society.
  • One physician representative from the Louisiana Medical Association.
  • One nurse representative from the Louisiana Nursing Association.
  • One social worker representative from the Louisiana Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
  • One representative from the Louisiana Association of Substance Abuse Counselors and Trainers.
  • Four Ryan White Care Act grantees consisting of one Title I grantee, one Title II grantee, one Title III grantee, and one Title IV grantee.
  • One representative of the Ryan White CARE Act Delta Region AIDS and Education Training Center.
  • One representative from the Louisiana Dental Association.
  • One representative from the Pelican Dental Association.
  • One representative from the Louisiana State Board of Pharmacy.
  • One representative from the Louisiana Psychological Association.
  • One representative from the Louisiana Interchurch Conference.
  • One representative from the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry.

Jacqueline Shellington, of Baton Rouge, is the director of St. Anthony’s Home for Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.  Shellington will be appointed to serve as a social worker representative from the Louisiana Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, as required by statute.

We’re not denying that AIDS and Hepatitis C are issues the state’s healthcare entities need to address. Is it necessary for the governor to appoint people to a board to address them? And look at the statutory makeup to this thing – if that’s not a bureaucratic nightmare, we’ve never seen one.

Governor Bobby Jindal Announces the Appointment of Honorable Frank Thaxton, III to the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency

BATON ROUGE- Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced the appointment of Honorable Frank Thaxton, III to the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency.

The Louisiana Housing Finance Agency has the authority to undertake various programs to assist in the financing of housing needs in the state of Louisiana for persons of low and moderate incomes.

According to statute, the agency is comprised of fifteen members including the secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services, or his designee, and the state treasurer, both of whom shall serve as ex officio members concurrent with the terms of their offices. Eleven members are gubernatorial appointments including three members who will serve as at-large members from the general public. One member must be nominated by each of the following: the Louisiana Bankers Association, the Louisiana Mortgage Lenders Association, the Louisiana Home Builders Association, the Louisiana Realtors Association, the Louisiana Housing Council, the Apartment Association of Louisiana, the Louisiana AFL-CIO and the Realtists Association of Louisiana. In addition, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives each must appoint a member to the agency.

Frank Thaxton, III, of Shreveport, is a self-employed attorney and a retired district court judge.  Thaxton will be appointed to serve as an at-large member of the general public, as required by statute. 

We won’t offer a judgement as to whether this thing is Louisiana’s version of Fannie and Freddie, but we will say that federal attempts to create “affordable housing” have more or less proven the government’s complete incompetence in accomplishing that goal. A statute which gives the AFL-CIO a spot on a housing board is a pretty good indication as to whether that board is worthwhile.

Governor Bobby Jindal Announces the Appointment of Penny Millhollon to the Marriage and Family Therapy Advisory Committee

BATON ROUGE – Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced the appointment of Penny Millhollon to the Marriage and Family Therapy Advisory Committee.

The Marriage and Family Therapy Advisory Committee serves to examine and qualify all applicants for licensure as marriage and family therapists and recommend to the Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners each successful applicant for licensure, attesting to his professional qualifications to be a marriage and family therapist.

According to the statute, the commission is comprised of four licensed marriage and family therapist board members appointed by the governor from a list of names submitted by the executive board of the Louisiana Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Penny Millhollon, of Shreveport, is a multi-systemic therapy program supervisor and a marriage and family therapist for the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home and a clinical evaluation provider for the Office of Community Services.  She is also a member of the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy, the LA Association of Marriage & Family Therapy and the LA Counseling Association.  Millhollon will be appointed to serve as a licensed marriage and family therapist appointed from a list of qualified candidates submitted by the executive board of the Louisiana Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, as required by statute.

Does a marriage therapist really need to be licensed? If you don’t actually know anything about marriage therapy or you stink at it, the market will sort you out a lot faster than a regulatory board will. And if you’re actually good at it, the board which is made up of existing players in the business is actually doing the public an injustice by barring your entry into the field.

And in case anyone argues that these boards exist to process complaints – we have courts and lawyers for such matters. Our legal system does a terrific job providing opportunities for folks to sue each other, and we have no shortage of lawyers eager to take cases on – with more pouring out of law schools every year. Coupling that with regulatory boards for virtually every conceivable field of endeavor is overkill.

Governor Bobby Jindal Announces Appointments to the Louisiana Emergency Response Network Board

BATON ROUGE – Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced appointments to the Louisiana Emergency Response Network Board.

The Louisiana Emergency Response Network Board serves to develop, implement and support a statewide network of emergency response entities to provide access to care in an efficient and coordinated manner for those in need of emergency help services.

According to the statute, the board is comprised of 28 members including two members from the Louisiana House of Representatives appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives and two members from the Louisiana Senate appointed by the president of the Senate. The remaining 24 members are gubernatorial appointments, subject to senate confirmation, including the following:

  • One cardiologist selected from nominations submitted by the Louisiana Chapter of the American College of Cardiology;
  • One physician selected from nominees submitted by the American Stroke Association;
  • One registered nurse practicing in emergency or critical care selected from nominees submitted by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing;
  • One medical director of an emergency medical services agency selected from nominees submitted by the Louisiana Association of EMS Physicians;
  • One optometrist selected from nominees submitted by the Optometry Association of Louisiana;
  • One member selected from nominations submitted by the Rural Hospital Coalition to represent hospitals with fewer than sixty beds;
  • One member selected from nominations submitted by the Metropolitan Hospital Council of New Orleans to represent hospitals with at least one hundred beds;
  • One member selected from nominations submitted by the Louisiana Hospital Association to represent a service district hospital;
  • Two members selected from nominations submitted by the Department of Health and Hospitals which must include a member from the office of mental health;
  • One member from selected from nominations submitted by the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness;
  • Two members selected from nominations submitted by the Louisiana State Medical Society which must include a member specializing in pediatric surgery;
  • One member selected from nominations submitted by the Louisiana Medical Association;
  • One member selected from nominations submitted by the Committee on Trauma or American College of Surgeons;
  • One member selected from nominations submitted by the Louisiana American College of Emergency Physicians;
  • One member selected from nominations submitted by the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at Shreveport;
  • One member selected from nominations submitted by the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at New Orleans;
  • One member selected from nominations submitted by the Tulane University Health Sciences Center;
  • One member selected from nominations submitted by the Louisiana State Coroners Association;
  • One 211 member of and selected from nominations submitted by the Louisiana Alliance of Information and Referral Systems;
  • One member of and selected from nominations submitted by the Louisiana Ambulance Alliance;
  • One 911 member of and selected from nominations submitted by the National Emergency Number Association; and
  • One member of and selected from nominations submitted by the Louisiana Hospital Association rehabilitation constituency group. 

Appointments to the Louisiana Emergency Response Network Board:

John Hunt, of New Orleans, is the Associate Trauma Director and the Director of Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the University Hospital Campus of the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans.  He is also a professor of surgery, a clinical professor of anesthesiology, and a clinical associate professor of clinical surgery at LSU Health Sciences Center at New Orleans.  Hunt will be appointed to serve as a member selected from nominations submitted by the LSU Health Sciences Center at New Orleans, as required by statute. 

Kevin Sittig, of Shreveport, is a professor of surgery, director of the Regional Burn Center and the Senior Associate Dean and Chief Medical Officer for LSU Health Sciences Center at Shreveport.  Sittig will be appointed to serve as a member selected from nominations submitted by the Committee on Trauma or American College of Surgeons, as required by statute. 

Any board with 28 members on it is a nightmare to begin with. But the board’s stated mission of providing a standardized emergency response network seems questionable to us – shouldn’t we allow local and private entities to compete, experiment and innovate within their markets to develop best practices? Isn’t the societal move away from centralization and command-and-control a model we should be embracing in Louisiana? We don’t think a 28-member board will encourage the kind of decentralization and innovation we’re envisioning.

As we’ve said, we get these in our e-mail inbox virtually every day, and the majority of the boards the governor is appointing people to we’ve never heard of. Further, the majority appear to indicate how badly the state government micromanages life in Louisiana – where we tend to be in the high 40’s of virtually every index.

This isn’t a shot at Jindal – he didn’t create these boards. It’s past time some of them start disappearing, though. They cost too much, they impede freedom too much, they provide too much political patronage and they’re a drag on our economy – not to mention a burden to the inbox.

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