Louisiana Lawmakers Call First Ever Veto Session: Will They Override the Governor?
The Louisiana state legislature has voted to hold the first-ever-in-the-history-of-the-state veto session. Veto sessions are automatic unless lawmakers opt-out by sending in ballots to the House and Senate clerks, which they have done every time since the new state constitution was put in place almost 50 years ago.
The four day special session of both houses will begin in Baton Rouge on July 20. Governor John Bel Edwards vetoed 28 bills from the just completed regular session, all of which are eligible to be considered for an override during the session.
The two bills at the top of the lawmakers override list are the Edwards' vetoes of the Constitutional Carry legislation, which would allow Louisiana gunowners permitless carry, unrestricted carry, either openly or concealed, without a license or permit.
The second involves what some call "anti-trans" legislation, others a "women's sports protection" bill. This law codified a rule that high school athletes can only participate in sports that align with their birth gender.
Here's the official announcement of the session from Senate President Page Cortez and House Speaker Clay Schexnayder:
"Pursuant to the provisions of Article III, Section 18(C) and RS 24,10(E), we are requested to notify you that 12 members of the Senate and 35 members of the House of representatives timely filed with us written declarations that a veto session to consider those measures of the 2021 Regular Session vetoed by the Governor is unnecessary.
Accordingly, as is required by RS 24, 10(E), we hereby announce that the veto session provided by Article III, Section 18(C) to be convened on the fortieth day after the sine die adjournment of the most recent session of the legislature WILL be held.
The Legislature will meet at noon on Tuesday, July 20, 2021."
The agreement to return for a veto session required only a majority of both chambers. However, to override the governor’s veto requires a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate. Republicans hold a supermajority in the Senate with 27 members. The GOP has 68 of 105 members on the House side, just two short of a two-thirds majority.