Emergency Suspension of Fees--Department of Health
WHEREAS, the federal government has issued an Emergency Declaration and Major Disaster Declaration due to the widespread damage caused by flooding related to Hurricane Harvey;
WHEREAS, some individuals affected by this flooding event were born in Louisiana, are currently displaced, and are taking refuge in emergency shelters in the State of Texas;
WHEREAS, the flooding damaged or destroyed documents important to many of these affected individuals or caused these individuals to lose such documents, including their birth certificates;
WHEREAS in some cases individuals currently residing in emergency shelters in Texas need copies of their birth certificates for various purposes, including obtaining certain benefits provided by the State of Texas and/or the federal government; and
WHEREAS, in response to the damage done to some of these individuals’ birth certificates and their need to have a copy of their birth certificates for purposes of obtaining certain benefits from the State of Texas and/or the federal government, the Secretary of the Department of Health has requested suspension of certain provisions of law related to fees and charges, which would be incurred by those affected individuals who have been required to replace damaged, destroyed or lost birth certificates.
NOW THEREFORE, I JOHN BEL EDWARDS, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The following specific provisions of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950 related to the imposition of fees or charges related to transactions with the Department of Health, or their authorized agent, as qualified by this Order, are hereby suspended for transactions by individuals affected by the flooding related to Hurricane Harvey who are currently residing in an emergency shelter in the State of Texas when, as determined by any guidelines or directions issued by the Secretary, the request is a result of the above described emergency conditions:
• La. R.S. 40:40(2), to the extent it requires payment of a fee for production of a duplicate birth record.
• La. R.S. 46:2403B, to the extent it requires the Department of Health to collect an additional fee upon the filing of a request for a duplicate birth record for remittance to the Children’s Trust Fund.
SECTION 2: This Order is effective upon signature and shall apply retroactively from August 24, 2017, 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 Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 11th day of September, 2017.
John Bel Edwards
Secretary of State