Speculation grows over another possible veto override session

After Governor Edwards used his veto power to strike down several pieces of legislation related to LGBT issues, speculation growing over another possible veto.
Published: Jul. 3, 2023 at 6:00 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - After Governor John Bel Edwards used his veto power to strike down several pieces of legislation related to LGBT issues, speculation is growing over another possible veto override session.

The pieces of legislation that Edwards vetoed include bills that would have prevented students and teachers from using one’s preferred pronouns in the classroom and prevented them from discussing gender identity or sexual orientation. Another bill would have prohibited minors from receiving cross-sex hormones or undergoing any kind of gender-affirming care. That bill was authored by Rep. Gabe Firment, a Republican.

“Every single representative and senator that I’ve talked to are in favor of a veto-override session,” Rep. Firment said. “I hear there’s some concern the Senate might not be fully on board. But look, do you want to finish your time at the legislature with this as your legacy? That you’re okay with chemically castrating children with medical experimentation. And I don’t think that’s a legacy that anyone wants to embrace.”

But others are not so convinced it will be that easy. Democratic State Rep. Mandie Landry said on top of the culture war bills, there are also line-item vetoes in the state budget that some would like to reverse, opening up a whole new can of worms.

“If we go back, it’s going to be chaos, ‘Lord of the Flies’ chaos. You know, asking me to go back to overturn a culture war veto is one thing. But if we’re all back there, and someone’s sewage money got cut, then now we’re in a different conversation,” Rep. Landry explained.

Republicans have the votes if they want them with their supermajority in the legislature. But it’s also a campaign year, and some might want to keep their focus on their campaigns. Some don’t even plan on returning next year period.

And with many banking on a Republican becoming governor, it might just save the state time and money to bring these bills back up next year when the fear of a veto is no longer there.

“It would not be a surprise if things stayed as the status quo and then next year there will be a new governor and they can try again with a new legislature,” said WAFB political analyst Jim Engster.

Lawmakers must have their ballots submitted by July 13. If a majority of them come back in support of a special session, they’ll return on July 18 and will only have five days to overturn whatever they can.

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