April 18, 2017 12:20 AM

Senate Judiciary B Committee will hear Kaplan Sen. Jonathan Perry’sSB86when it convenes at 2:30 p.m. today.


Perry’s bill would give parish governing bodies certain size parishes the right to hire their own legal counsel and not be obligated to use the services of their local district attorneys. The bill would affect parishes with populations between 60,000 and 70,000 people based on the most recent U.S. Census.

Six parishes are named in Perry’s bill — St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, Ouchita, Morehouse, Calcasieu, and Vermilion.

Could Perry’s bill be a way to allow Vermilion Parish governments to sever their ties with 15th JDC District Attorney Keith Stutes? TheVermilion Parish Police Jury went on recordopposing the suitStutes filed last yearagainst oil and gas companies seeking to hold them responsible for wetlands loss under provisions of the Coastal Zone Management Act.

Gov. Edwards has been encouraging Coastal Zone parishes to file similar suits against oil and gas companies as the state seeks resources to pay for the cost of protecting Louisiana residents from the impact of disappearing wetlands, rising seas, and sinking land.

Parts of the four of the parishes named in the bill are included in the Coastal Zone — St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, Calcasieu and Vermilion.

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