Seven years ago Louisiana gained national praise by overhauling its dysfunctional levee board system. Some 81 percent of voters said “yes” to a constitutional amendment allowing consolidation of local boards under regional authorities, and the Legislature passed a law setting professional standards for board members. To further insulate them from politics, the boards were made independent of the Legislature and governor.

Now the first test of that reform effort is about to begin. It could last through next July.

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