RS 29:725     

§725.  State emergency and disaster agency; powers of director

A.  The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is hereby established as a state agency within the office of the governor.

B.  The governor shall designate the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness as the state homeland security and emergency preparedness agency.  The office shall be an independent agency in the office of the governor and, through its director, shall report directly to the governor.  The office shall have authority for and shall be responsible for its own accounting and budget control, procurement and contract management, personnel management, and grants management and shall carry out these functions either directly or through authorized assignment to another state agency or department.  The office shall have authority to enter into contracts and agreements necessary in carrying out its functions and responsibilities.

C.(1)  There shall be a director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness who shall be appointed by the governor, subject to Senate confirmation.  He shall administer the state emergency preparedness agency as provided in this Chapter.  The director shall serve at a salary fixed by the governor, which salary shall not exceed the amount approved for the position by the legislature.

(2)  The director shall have had at least ten years of emergency management experience or equivalent experience in emergency operations.

D.  The director may adopt and promulgate, pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, such rules and regulations as are necessary to implement his authority under the provisions of this Chapter and such authority as the governor shall delegate to him pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.

E.  The director shall appoint a deputy director, subject to senate confirmation, to administer the provisions of this Chapter.  The deputy director shall have and may exercise such powers and duties of the director as the director shall delegate to him.  The director may appoint such assistant deputy directors as may be necessary to carry out the functions of the office, including but not limited to homeland security, emergency preparedness, and recovery.  Each assistant deputy director shall have and may exercise such powers and duties of the director or the deputy director as the director or deputy director shall delegate to him.

F.  The director shall, in addition to other staff, appoint regional coordinators and may appoint assistant coordinators for each homeland security and emergency preparedness region throughout the state, as provided by R.S. 29:726(E)(21) to assist each of the parish offices of homeland security and emergency preparedness in the administration of the provisions of this Chapter.

G.(1)  The director may employ such professional, technical, clerical, stenographic, and other personnel, and he shall fix their compensation and may make expenditures from available funds appropriated for the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness or other funds made available to him for purposes of homeland security and emergency preparedness as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Chapter.  During a gubernatorially declared disaster or emergency, the director shall have the authority to expend funds for emergency protective measures even if there is no budget authority of funds available.  The director, the deputy director, and the assistant deputy directors, if appointed, shall be provided with the necessary and appropriate office space, furniture, equipment, supplies, stationery, and printing.  The necessary mileage, office expenses, salaries of personnel, postage, telephone, and expressage shall be chargeable to any funds available for homeland security and emergency preparedness.

(2)  All current and future employees of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness shall be subject to the laws, rules, and regulations governing employees in unclassified state service.  Such employees shall remain in unclassified state service.

H.  The director, subject to the direction and control of the governor, shall be the executive head of the state homeland security and emergency preparedness agency and as such shall be responsible to the governor for carrying out the programs for homeland security and emergency preparedness for the state of Louisiana.  He shall coordinate the activities of all agencies and organizations for homeland security and emergency preparedness within the state and shall maintain liaison with and cooperate with homeland security and emergency preparedness agencies and organizations of other states and of the federal government.  All state agencies and departments shall comply with directives from the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness relating to emergency planning and operations.

I.  The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness shall operate pursuant to rules developed, adopted, and promulgated as provided for state agencies in the Administrative Procedure Act.  Such rules shall be subject to the authority of the legislature to oversee their development as provided in such Act and for such purpose shall be submitted to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and the House Committee on Homeland Security.

J.  The director shall provide a working space for a liaison from each house of the legislature selected by the chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and selected by the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, respectively, on the floor of the state emergency operations center with same access to areas and briefings given to the unified command group.  He shall coordinate with the chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security to include a role of support for the legislature within the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and to provide for an Emergency Support Function (ESF) for the legislature.

Acts 1993, No. 800, §1, eff. June 22, 1993; Acts 2003, No. 40, §2, eff. May 23, 2003; Acts 2006, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 35, §1, eff. March 1, 2006; Acts 2006, No. 442, §§1, 3, eff. June 15, 2006; Acts 2008, No. 122, §1.