BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The historic veto session for the Louisiana legislature is over without a single veto override.
On Wednesday, the Louisiana House lawmakers Wednesday failed to overturn Gov. John Bel Edwards’ veto of legislation banning transgender athletes from school sports teams.
While the Senate narrowly agreed to the veto override, the House fell two votes short of the needed two-thirds support required to bypass the governor. Republicans were unable to sway the handful of Democrats needed to reach the supermajority hurdle to mark what would have been the first time in nearly 30 years that the Louisiana Legislature has overridden a gubernatorial veto.
Edwards learned of the failure while on the air for his monthly radio show: “Obviously, I’m heartened because I believe the vetoes that I issued were in the state’s best interest.”
BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The bill failed in the House.
Sixty-eight voted in favor of the override, needed 70 votes to pass.
The Republicans’ failure came in an unprecedented veto session, the first time under the nearly 50-year-old constitution that lawmakers came back to the Louisiana Capitol to consider enacting bills a governor had rejected. The prior two veto overrides in the 1990s happened in a regular session when lawmakers already were in the building.
Edwards, the Deep South’s only Democratic governor, said the legislation will make life more difficult for vulnerable children with higher rates of suicide, and he noted that bill backers could not point to a single example of a Louisiana-specific problem. He said passage of the law would threaten Louisiana’s ability to attract big events, a point argued by business organization leaders from Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
“Discrimination is not a Louisiana value, and this bill was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana,” Edwards said in his veto announcement.
BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Going into Tuesday’s veto override session, the Speaker of the House, Clay Schexnayder was confident that the Governor’s veto of the transgender athletes bill would get overturned.
If it becomes law the legislation would prohibit transgender school athletes from competing in sports against the gender of which they’ve identified.
It turns out the Speaker of The House was correct.
The Louisiana Senate was able to garner the two-thirds majority vote needed to move SB156 to the Louisiana House.
The bill passed with 26 votes, which was exactly what it needed to pass.
Reaction was swift as Senator Jay Luneau, Democrat from Alexandria echoed the governor’s veto message saying this bill is a solution in search of a problem.
Luneau says the rules in place are already stringent and this bill could open the state up for lawsuits.
Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, a Democrat from New Orleans says this bill could lead to a major financial impact on Louisiana.
Peterson cites that 400 businesses have said they’re against transgender discrimination.