BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A resolution prohibiting the state fire marshal from citing businesses for Covid-19 violations has passed through the house committee.
“Our citizens of Louisiana are very much American, they believe in their freedoms and they love and enjoy their freedom,” Author of the resolution and Chairman of the Republican Legislative Delegation Blake Miguez said.
The Republican lawmaker says the current restrictions in place by Governor John Bel Edwards are unconstitutional and are “in the way” of local businesses thriving.
House Concurrent Resolution 13 would prohibit the governor from delegating his emergency power over to the State Fire Marshal.
Miguez says he takes the virus seriously but it would be more effective to educate people and let them make their own decisions about safety.
“We know how to keep our kids safe, we know how to keep our customers safe, we just need the Government to get out of our way,” Miguez said.
Governor Edwards backs his restrictions by saying he is following the Covid-19 recovery guidance released by the White House.
“I believe government’s role should be to guide our private sector and give them all the information necessary so they can make informed decisions but not give them mandates,” Miguez said.
The measures limiting the Governor’s power are backed by Attorney General Jeff Landry, his civil director testified on his behalf during Monday’s hearing.
“Prohibitions must be clearly defined and government needs to articulate its aim with a reasonable degree of certainty. The Governor’s proclamations are neither and their ambiguity left the Fire Marshal with no choice but to come up with his own guidance on what should and should not be open. This is an unconstitutional delegation of authority, and the Legislature is right to pursue suspending it,” Civil Director Angelique Freel said in a statement.