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NEW ORLEANS -- Two bills that would remove the independence of the two regional levee authorities created in the reforms following Katrina could face action Thursday in the Louisiana Senate.

Senate Bill 79 is facing a possible vote in the full Senate and would give the governor greater power to remove members of the levee authority.

Senate Bill 629, which is still in committee, would place both levee boards in a state agency under the governor's control.

The Jefferson Parish Council approved a resolution Wednesday opposing both bills.

One group that fought hard for the reforms, Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, argues both bills would replace independence and expertise with politics.

'These flood protection authorities, the expertise they've had in scientific, they've been able to deal with the Corps of Engineers and to address issues and to really make some amazing strides that have really made us much safer,' said Ruthie Frierson of Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans.

We are totally opposed to any efforts by the state legislature to take away the rights as local governing authorities to better protect our citizens,' said Jefferson Parish President John Young.

State Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, who has strong ties to the oil industry, has authored both bills.

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