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BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Bureau of Governmental Research has come out against a Senate bill that would give the governor more leeway to choose members of The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority.

BGR points out that the state went to great pains to remove politics from authority over flood control after Katrina and created two independent levee boards. They are to be composed solely of professionals and experts in flood control and related fields.

But BGR President Janet Howard said Senate bill 79 would re-introduce politics and weaken the nominating process for levee board members.

'The governor is able to reject the slates of nominees and do so repeatedly,' she said. 'Well obviously this sends a message to any kind of nominating committee, give me someone I want because otherwise I'm just going to keep rejecting your slates.'

The bill also calls for the nominating committee to provide the governor with more nominees than it does now.

BGR says the very survival of New Orleans depends on reliable flood protection.

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