Governor Jimmie Davis Sunshine Award

WHEREAS, James Houston "Jimmie" Davis, who was born in a sharecropper's cabin near the village of Quitman, parish of Jackson, on September 11, 1899, matured to become a history teacher, basketball coach, world renowned song writer and entertainer, clerk of criminal court, commissioner of public safety for the city of Shreveport, state public service commissioner, and governor of the state of Louisiana;

WHEREAS, former Governor Jimmie Davis brought recognition and acclaim to the state of Louisiana, and also joy to people worldwide, by introducing Cajun music to country music listeners, starring in movies, being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1972, and writing more than 300 songs, including "You Are My Sunshine";

WHEREAS, during his two non-consecutive terms as governor of the state of Louisiana, former Governor Jimmie Davis created the State Employees Retirement System, re- created the Department of Civil Service, built seven (7) hospitals, built the present Governor?s Mansion, built many major bridges, including the Sunshine Bridge, and established many recreational areas including the Toledo Bend Reservoir;

WHEREAS, on January 23, 1999, the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame Museum in Winnfield, bestowed on former Governor Jimmie Davis the museum?s first "Politician of the Century" award for the citizen of the state of Louisiana who most personifies the greatest qualities a public servant can posses and, in honor of that event, Governor M.J. "Mike" Foster, Jr., proclaimed January 23, 1999, as Jimmie Davis Day; and

WHEREAS, the interests of the citizens of the state of Louisiana are best served by honoring the public service contributions of former Governor Jimmie Davis by celebrating his 100th birthday through the issuance of a proclamation declaring September, 1999, as Jimmie Davis Month and the creation of a public service award in his name;

NOW THEREFORE, I, M.J. "MIKE" FOSTER, JR., 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 "Governor Jimmie Davis Sunshine Award" is hereby created to recognize the state public servant whose public service brought the most "sunshine" into the lives of the citizens of the state of Louisiana, or a significant portion thereof, during the prior calendar year (hereafter "award"). The recipient of the annual award shall be announced by the governor of the state of Louisiana following his address to both houses of the Louisiana Legislature on the first day the Louisiana Legislature meets in regular session.


A. Nominations for award recipients shall be submitted to the governor by each of the three branches of state government. The president of the Louisiana Senate, the speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives, the chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, and the statewide elected officials and appointed department heads in the executive branch shall submit separate lists of nominees to the governor no later than January 31st of each year. Each nomination shall be accompanied by sufficient information and/or documentation to support the nominee's nomination and to provide a basis to evaluate the significance of the nominee's state public service, humanitarian, and/or civic acts, actions, and/or deeds, and the manner in which they benefitted the citizens of the state of Louisiana.

B. Each nominee must be an officer or employee of the state of Louisiana whose public service, humanitarian and/or civic acts, actions, or deeds during the prior calendar year brought "sunshine" into the lives of the citizens of the state of Louisiana or a sizeable segment thereof, by benefitting or significantly improving their quality of life.

C. The governor will appoint a five (5) member board to select the award recipient. No board member shall be an officer or an employee of the state of Louisiana. The board shall be composed of two (2) members selected by the Governor; one (1) member selected by the president of the Louisiana Senate; one (1) member selected by the speaker of the House of Representatives; and one (1) member selected by the chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court.

SECTION 3: All departments, commissions, boards, agencies, and officers of the state, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate in the implementation of the provisions of this Order.

SECTION 4: This Order is effective upon signature and 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 Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 10th day of September, 1999.

M.J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.

Fox McKeithen
Secretary of State