EXECUTIVE ORDER MJF 96-1

Abolishes preferential treatment programs
Rescinds EWE 92-28 and EWE 93-6


WHEREAS: in order to restore to the people of Louisiana, faith and confidence in their government, all citizens must be treated equally; and

WHEREAS: I, as governor, have sworn to uphold the constitutions of the United States and the State of Louisiana; and

WHEREAS: the United States Constitution provides that "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws"; and

WHEREAS: the Louisiana Constitution in its Declaration of Rights states "No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws. No law shall discriminate against a person because of race or religious ideas, beliefs, or affiliations. No law shall arbitrally, capriciously, or unreasonably discriminate against a person because of birth, age, sex, culture, physical condition, or political ideas or affiliations"; and

WHEREAS: the Louisiana Constitution further provides that "No classified employee shall be discriminated against because of his political or religious beliefs, sex, or race"; and

WHEREAS: these basic statements of the constitutions of the United States and the State of Louisiana stand for the principles that no one should be discriminated against and that fairness be foremost in all operations of state government; and

WHEREAS: the Supreme Court of the United States has called upon society to treat citizens as individuals, not as components of a racial, religious, sexual or national class; and

WHEREAS: the governor of Louisiana has the duty to promote equal opportunity and fairness regardless of race, sex, age, religious belief, physical condition or political affiliation; and

WHEREAS: there is no place in my administration for preferential treatment programs or plans such as racial quotas, set asides, or "affirmative action" programs which require reaching a quota, and which discriminate in favor of one person over another on the basis of race, religion, birth, age, sex, culture, political ideas or affiliations; and

WHEREAS: only ability, merit, responsibility, and the value of the product or services to be rendered should be the cornerstones of whether to select a person to do a job, whether by contract or employment;

NOW THEREFORE I, MURPHY J. FOSTER, JR., Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of Louisiana, do hereby order the following:

SECTION 1: That entities of state government shall not discriminate against any person in employment or contractual relationships on the basis of race, religion, birth, age, sex, culture, physical condition, or political ideas or affiliations.

SECTION 2: That all departments, agencies, boards, commissions, or other entities of state government in the executive branch, over which I have appointing authority and as chief executive officer of the state have general executive authority, shall assure that all persons are provided equal protection of the laws of Louisiana and the United States and that no one shall be discriminated against because of race, religion, birth, age, sex, culture, physical condition, or political ideas or affiliations.

SECTION 3: That programs which are designed to aid all Louisiana citizens who are physically or mentally challenged shall be maintained and encouraged.

SECTION 4: That all decisions regarding positions to be filled or contracts to be awarded in state government shall be based upon ability, merit, responsibility, and the value of the product or services to be rendered.

SECTION 5: That any preferential treatment program or plan, such as racial quotas, set asides, and "affirmative action" programs which require reaching a quota, and which are not required or mandated by state law or federal statute, regulation or court order shall be abolished.

SECTION 6: The provisions of this order shall not affect any contract previously entered into or any employment previously granted.

SECTION 7: The Louisiana State Civil Service Commission is hereby requested to reexamine its rules and regulations relative to hiring and preferential treatment, and to repeal such rules and regulations or opinions which provide any preferential hiring treatment based on race, sex, political or religious beliefs, except as otherwise required or mandated by state law or federal statute, regulation or court order.

SECTION 8: All statewide elected officials, political subdivisions of the state, college and university boards and the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, as well as any other executive department boards, agencies, commissions, and other entities not subject to appointment by this office, are respectfully requested to comply with the provisions of this order.

SECTION 9: All entities in the executive branch shall report, within 60 days, to the executive counsel of the Office of the Governor any state law or federal statute, regulation or court order that requires or mandates such entity to discriminate in favor of one person over another on the basis of race, religion, birth, age, sex, culture, or political ideas or affiliations.

SECTION 10: All entities in the executive branch shall report to the chief of staff of the Office of the Governor, within 60 days, any preferential treatment programs or plans which have been continued or abolished pursuant to this order.

SECTION 11: Executive Orders EWE 92-28 and EWE 93-6 are hereby repealed.

SECTION 12: The terms "mandate" and "mandated" as used herein shall mean that which is required, by statute or regulation, as necessary to receive federal funds.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 11th day of January, 1996.

M.J. "Mike" Foster
Governor

ATTEST BY
THE GOVERNOR
Fox McKeithen
Secretary of State