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Lafayette School Board To Hold Special Meeting On Insurance Issue

Lafayette Parish School Board/KPEL Staff Photo

UPDATE: The Lafayette Parish School Board will hold a special meeting Oct. 22 to further discuss action on the health insurance administrator issue.

The Lafayette Parish School Board voted Wednesday night to delay a vote on its health care administrator decision pending a legal review of the process.

The board voted 5-4 to award Key Benefit Administrators the Lafayette Parish School System’s health insurance contract at its Oct. 2 meeting, replacing Blue Cross Blue Shield after 17 years with the company despite vocal opposition from current and retired LPSS employees.

But the vote was disputed. The health insurance administrator discussion was initially an introductory item that was moved to final passage in the same evening. Former board member Mike Hefner brought it to the board’s attention that night that board policy requires a two-thirds vote — 6 total in favor — to move the item. The vote was 5-4.

The board was to consider whether to rescind the Oct. 2 vote last night.

Board member Greg Awbrey argued the initial vote, in effect, was null and void.

“This entire process is being pushed through and its not being done within the rules of this board room,” said Awbrey. “The vote that was taken on the last board meeting that’s now being rescinded, there’s no other reason to rescind it than it was taken out of order.”

Board member Hunter Beasley said there was no policy violation, according to Robert’s Rules of Order.

“The board did not violate open meeting laws,” Beasley said. “The two-thirds vote, again, I don’t believe was necessary.”

Board attorney Roger Hamilton advised the board to restart the entire process. Because the contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield expires in January, board members agreed there isn’t enough time to do so.

Rae Trahan made a motion, seconded by Mark Allen Babineaux, to request legal review of the entire process in time for the board’s Nov. 6 meeting. The board voted unanimously in favor.

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