WHEREAS: Executive Order MJF 96-1 acknowledges that, notwithstanding the above stated policy, set aside laws and affirmative action programs which authorize quotas or guarantee outcomes based only on race or gender are unconstitutional, cannot be defended as lawful and, therefore, must be abolished; and
WHEREAS: the United States Supreme Court has held that race and gender cannot be the decisive or predominant factor in decisions made by the state in the allocation of educational, contractual, employment, economic, and other opportunities, although such factors may be considered by the state in making such decisions; and
WHEREAS: it is essential to the economic health of this state that all Louisiana citizens who are economically disadvantaged, regardless of race or gender, be given an opportunity to become economically self-sufficient; and
WHEREAS: a significant percentage of the population of this state is economically disadvantaged and needs active state assistance in order to gain the skills or credit opportunities necessary to obtain contracts and jobs in a nonpreferential competitive process; and
WHEREAS: economic self-sufficiency enhances the individual's sense of personal dignity and pride in community; and
WHEREAS: programs which enable people to help themselves in becoming economically self-sufficient through job training and which assist all economically disadvantaged businesses and persons in acquiring the necessary skills to become successful in obtaining contracts and jobs through a nonpreferential competitive process are beneficial to this state;
NOW, THEREFORE I, M. J. "MIKE" FOSTER, JR., Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order the following:
SECTION 1: that it is the policy of the State of Louisiana to advance inclusion, impartiality, mutual understanding, and respect for diversity among all people, without regard to race or gender;
SECTION 2: that it is the policy of the State of Louisiana, in accordance with rulings by the United States Supreme Court, that race and gender may be considered in decisions to allocate educational, contractual, employment, economic, and other opportunities in this state but that these factors shall not be the decisive or predominant factors in such decisions unless required or mandated by federal statutes, regulations or court orders.
SECTION 3: that it is the policy of the State of Louisiana to eliminate any statutes or regulations authorizing quotas or guaranteeing outcomes based only on race or gender, except as required or mandated by federal statutes, regulation or court orders, and accordingly Executive Order MJF 96-1 is hereby affirmed;
SECTION 4: that the Department of Economic Development, the Department of Labor, the Division of Administration and the Office of the Governor shall develop programs to assure that all economically disadvantaged persons and businesses, regardless of race or gender, have access to training and technical assistance in order that they may strive to achieve success in a competitive market;
SECTION 5: that the Department of Economic Development develop a program in accordance with the attached proposal to assist all economically disadvantaged businesses to gain the technical expertise and to obtain credit opportunities necessary to bid successfully on contracts to provide goods and services to the state;
SECTION 6: that the Department of Labor report within 60 days to the assistant chief of staff of the Office of the Governor any program or programs presently in effect which are designed to assist economically disadvantaged persons achieve success in obtaining jobs in both the private or public sectors;
SECTION 7: that the Department of Economic Development determine within 60 days the appropriate quantifiable economic criteria to be utilized in deciding which businesses and persons may be certified as economically disadvantaged;
SECTION 8: that the commissioner of administration assist the secretary of the Department of Economic Development in identifying all economically disadvantaged Louisiana businesses seeking state assistance.
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 14th day of February, 1996.
M. J. "Mike"
Secretary of State