WHEREAS, notwithstanding these constitutional tenets, statistical data that compares the status of females in the state of Louisiana to males in this state and to females throughout the United States, suggests that gender-based disparities and gender-related hardships may persist in this state to a greater degree than in the nation as a whole and negatively impact on the quality of life of Louisiana's female population, especially in areas of access to health care and earnings potential;
WHEREAS, to improve the quality of life of Louisiana women, the causes of gender related disparities need to be identified and analyzed and public policies may need to be changed in order to mitigate those disparities; and
WHEREAS, the interests of the citizens of the state of Louisiana are well served by creating a commission charged with the duty of focusing on the quality of life of Louisiana's women and advising the governor on the means to help them achieve their fullest development and potential;
NOW THEREFORE I, M.J. "MIKE" FOSTER, JR., Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the constitution and laws of this state, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The Louisiana Women's Policy and Research Commission (hereafter "Commission") is established in the executive department, Office of the Governor, Office of Women's Services.
SECTION 2: The duties of the Commission shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
SECTION 3: Commencing January 1, 2001, the Commission shall submit detailed annual reports to the governor, through the Office of Women's Service, which address the issues set forth in Section 2 of this Order.
SECTION 4: The Commission shall consist of a maximum of twenty-one (21) members who shall be appointed by the governor and serve at his pleasure. The Commission shall consist of the following members:SECTION 5: The governor shall appoint the chair of the Commission from its membership. All other officers shall be elected by the membership of the Commission.
SECTION 6: The Commission shall meet at regularly scheduled intervals and at the call of the chair.
SECTION 7: Support staff for the Commission and facilities for its meetings shall be provided by the Office of the Governor, Office of Women's Services.
SECTION 8: Commission members shall not receive additional compensation, a per diem, or travel expenses from the Office of the Governor.
SECTION 9: All departments, commissions, boards, agencies, and officers of the state, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Commission in implementing the provisions of this Order.
SECTION 10: The provisions of this Order shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law.
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 16th day of February, 2000.
M.J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.
Secretary of State