WHEREAS, the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., confers upon the governor of the state of Louisiana emergency powers to deal with emergencies and disasters, including those caused by fire, flood, earthquake or other natural or man-made causes, to ensure that preparations of this state will be adequate to deal with such emergencies or disasters, and to preserve the lives and property of the citizens of the state of Louisiana;
WHEREAS, pursuant to Proclamation No. 48 KBB 2005, a state of emergency was declared and is currently in effect;
WHEREAS, R.S. 29:724(D)(4) provides that the governor, subject to any applicable requirements for compensation, may commandeer or utilize any private property if she finds it necessary to cope with the disaster or emergency;
WHEREAS, there is an immediate need for mass transportation to move citizens to shelters and other safe locations from disaster areas; and
WHEREAS, given the current exigent circumstances, buses are the most reasonable and practical mode of mass transportation to move our citizens to safety;
NOW THEREFORE I, KATHLEEN BABINEAUX BLANCO, Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: Each Superintendent of Education for each school district in Louisiana that remains substantially operational following the passage of Hurricane Katrina shall contact the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness at 225-925-3916 and provide an inventory of school buses and bus drivers in their district;
SECTION 2: As determined by the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, such buses shall be made available to be used as necessary for the mass transportation of Hurricane Katrina evacuees, accompanying law enforcement personnel, and necessary supplies to and from areas of concern to areas of safety;
SECTION 3: The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is hereby authorized to commandeer and utilize such buses for such purposes;
SECTION 4: Each Superintendent of Education for each school district in Louisiana that remains substantially operational following the passage of Hurricane Katrina shall coordinate with local law enforcement agencies and peace officers to ensure that at least one peace officer ride in each bus and at least two marked law enforcement vehicles accompany every ten buses;
SECTION 5: The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness shall make efforts to work with the superintendents and local boards of education to minimize interruption of regular transportation of students;
SECTION 6: La. R.S. 17:158, relative to parish and city school boards providing free transportation to students, is hereby suspended until Sunday, September 25, 2005, unless reinstated sooner; and
SECTION 7: La. R.S. 32:402, relative to the requirement for drivers to secure commercial driver's license (CDL), is hereby suspended until September, 25, 2005, unless reinstated sooner. Notwithstanding the above suspension, such driver's must have a valid Louisiana or other valid driver's license of their state of residence.
SECTION 8: Executive Order No. KBB 2005-31, issued on August 31, 2005, is hereby rescinded and terminated.
SECTION 9: 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 2nd day of September, 2005.
Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
Secretary of State