Public officials who are impacted by natural disasters can now accept disaster relief without worrying about being brought up on charges later.
Act 30 of the 2017 Louisiana Legislature was signed into law by Governor John Bell Edwards which now allows a bit of relief to officials who live in areas that have been declared disaster areas by the governor.
The new law provides that during the time period extending from the date of a gubernatorially declared disaster or emergency and ending on the date five years after the date the gubernatorially declared disaster or emergency was initially declared by the governor, officials can accept a thing of economic value as a contribution or donation from a not-for-profit organization or a fund within a not-for-profit organization for the purpose of disaster aid or relief to offset any economic losses suffered by the public servant as a result of the gubernatorially declared disaster or emergency.
The law limits amount of assistance to $25,000. The law also requires each not-for-profit organization which disburses a contribution or donation to a public servant to utilize objective criteria in both evaluating the need for and the disbursement of contributions and donations to public servants to ensure that fair and equitable disbursements are made and that the disbursements are based upon demonstrated and documented needs directly related to the gubernatorially declared disaster or emergency.