Louisiana Lawmakers Prove Louisiana Voters Don’t Matter to Them
The Louisiana legislature spat in the face of Louisiana voters with their charades in Baton Rouge during this most recent legislative session.
Last year, voters in 47 Parishes overwhelmingly voted to legalize Fantasy Sports in Louisiana. Now wait, lets stop. Because there are people reading this and realizing for the first time that their office Fantasy Football league is against the law. Yes, until last year, your Fantasy Sports action in the state was against the law. Then voters in most Parishes said "yes". But it's Louisiana, just because the voters legalize something, it doesn't mean a damn thing.
Despite approval in 47 parishes last November, lawmakers did not pass a tax structure for the activity to take place in Louisiana. Meaning, it remains out of reach for Louisiana residents.
How did we get here? How did we get to a point where the public was able to vote on something, and yet lawmakers tell them "no" for the next 2 years?
The first part of this has to do with the fact that the entire legislature had an entire session to get this done. Considering it was already approved by voters, should have been REALLY easy. Just do what the voters said, and you're done. But again, this is Louisiana, and the lawmakers don't actually care what the voters think. They're clearly far more concerned about who's paying them behind closed doors in Baton Rouge.
Kenner Senator Danny Martiny is next up here. During the session, he initially looked like a hero. He was helping to craft the Sports Betting legislation, separate from Fantasy Sports, because they're two totally separate activities. However, Martiny turned out to be the villain in the final minutes of the session.
Now to be honest, the Sports Betting legislation should have come through already too. It's got approval from roughly 2/3 of Louisiana residents, and plenty of other states have already figured it out. Mississippi has had legal sports betting for a little while now, and they're pulling a ton of money out of our state because of it.
But when Martiny didn't get his way on Sports Betting, he through a temper tantrum, and retaliated by not allowing a vote for the fantasy sports tax structure bill in the final minutes of the legislative session by filibustering.
Next year, tax items can not be approved in the regular session, so it might take a special session to pass these two activities in 2020.