Louisiana Votes to Open Oil Spill Records

The reflection of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, right, is seen in a layer of oil on the water as he tours the oil impacted marsh of Pass a Loutre, La., May 19, 2010 AP

The reflection of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, right, is seen in a layer of oil on the water as he tours the oil impacted marsh of Pass a Loutre, La., May 19, 2010
AP

The Louisiana House sent Gov. Bobby Jindal legislation today that would require his office to preserve and make public all documents pertaining to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The Governor now has 15 days to decide if he will sign the bill into law.

House Bill 37 originally dealt with Department of Public Safety and Correction records. But language added to the bill in the Senate by Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, requires preservation of governor's office documents regarding the oil spill for at least 10 years as well as making documents open to the public immediately.

Sen. Robert Adley told CBS News that he hopes the legislation will create greater transparency.

"Under current law in Louisiana, certain deliberations can be kept private. But in the case of this catastrophic event, we want it to be very clear for everyone to see how it was handled and how money will be spent. I know the Governor may have some concerns, but the eyes of the world are on Louisiana."

The Governor's office said that they were reviewing the amendment carefully.

"We want to ensure we don't do anything to hurt our state's position in future litigation against BP," said Melissa Sellers, the Governor's communications director.

The original sponsor of the bill, Rep.Gary Smith, D-Norco, told CBS News he was pleased with the additional provision.

Special Section: Disaster in the Gulf

"We're going to spend hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars over the next generation on the spill. Our citizens need to know things were done in the most expedient way possible. I think in the end we will all be glad we were able to provide that information."

  • Sarah Fitzpatrick

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