The Jindal administration has again sought the governor's former executive counsel to do legal work for the state, this time for the Department of Transportation and Development.
Jimmy Faircloth is representing the department in a lawsuit filed by a Shreveport-based health care firm over the route of a highway extension in Caddo Parish. Faircloth said Friday that he was contacted by DOTD last week to do the legal work.
DOTD spokeswoman Jodi Conachen said Faircloth will be paid $175 an hour for the three-year contract, with a cap of $150,000.
The Louisiana attorney general's office says a Jindal administration plan to hire a private company to manage a state employee health insurance plan requires legislative approval.
In a legal opinion issued Friday, Assistant Attorney General Michael Vallan said the proposed contract between the Office of Group Benefits and Blue Cross/Blue Shield "is subject to review and final approval" by the legislative committees that have jurisdiction over similar matters.
Forum Energy Technologies says it plans to build a new 150,000-square-foot facility in St. Martin Parish to produce onshore and offshore drilling equipment for global customers.
Forum Energy CEO Cris Gaut says the $19 million project will replace an existing facility in nearby Broussard. The project will retain 203 existing jobs and create 125 new direct jobs with average annual salaries of more than $45,000, plus benefits. State economic development officials estimate the project will also create an additional 300 new indirect jobs.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is facing court challenges over attempts to keep records from the public.
At issue is the use of a public records exemption successfully pushed by Jindal and added to state law during his first term.
Shreveport-based Willis-Knighton Health System sued the Department of Transportation and Development over its refusal to provide information about a highway extension project. The department claimed an exemption tied to the governor's "deliberative process," a permitted exemption under the open records law.
In recognition of the anniversary of Sept. 11, Gov. Bobby Jindal has ordered flags at all state buildings to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset.
Jindal's executive order says the move Tuesday is "an expression of respect for Louisiana's fallen civilian and service members who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, and the days since to defend the United States of America."
The order, signed Monday, affects flags flown over the State Capitol and all public buildings and institutions of the state.