BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Louisiana Governor held a press conference at the conclusion of the 2023 Legislative Session.

On the evening of Thursday, June 8, after the 2023 legislative session adjourned, Governor John Bel Edwards addressed those in attendance and audiences watching on devices across Louisiana.

Edwards said, “I’m happy with most of the work that was done in this session. It wasn’t easy. Quite frankly, it never is. And we make it much harder than it needs to be.”

That said, Edwards went on to praise lawmakers for uniting to get things done that would benefit the state.

The Louisiana Legislature passed a total of 130 House Bills including the ban of gender-affirming care for minors and the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The House denied the constitutional carry bill and abolishing the death penalty bill.

Edwards said he was disappointed that some of the bills did not pass. He specifically mentioned the equal pay and minimum wage bills. Edwards also said it bothered him lawmakers decided not to eliminate the death penalty.

The Governor added that many other states have already passed laws related to the three failed bills he mentioned. He said he’d hoped to see Louisiana do so during his term.

Edwards also said he will veto anti-LGBTQ+ bills.

“On those issues, the judgement of history, I believe, will be very clear. It will be as clear as it was on those who didn’t want civil rights in the 50’s. But I’m not going to wait until then to say it’s wrong. My judgement today is those bills are wrong,” Edwards said.

“My message is not to republicans. It’s not to democrats, its to everybody in Louisiana. Let’s pay attention to what we’re doing,” he added. “Let’s focus on the real problems, let’s try to unite and not divide. Let’s not pick on very small minorities who happen to be comprised of the most vulnerable, fragile children in our state. Those most likely to engage in suicidal ideation and suicidal attempts. There’s nothing great in that. That’s not something we should aspire to. We are better than that.”

The First 2023 Extraordinary Session convened Monday, January 30. The Regular Legislative Session convened at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 10 and the final adjournment at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 8.