Louisiana Legislature unlikely to return for veto override session on school bills among others
(The Center Square) – The potential for a veto override session in July is unlikely and unnecessary, according to one Legislative leader, though others believe the decision will ultimately rest…
(The Center Square) – The potential for a veto override session in July is unlikely and unnecessary, according to one Legislative leader, though others believe the decision will ultimately rest with lawmakers in the Senate.
The Louisiana Constitution requires a veto override session to be held 40 days after the adjournment of a regular session, which would fall on July 16, unless lawmakers return ballots five days prior to cancel the session.
“Overriding the vetoes is not about politics,” Rep. Rhonda Butler, R-Turkey Creek, said in a statement posted to Facebook by the Louisiana Conservative Caucus this week. “It’s about checks and balances and serving the people who elected us to be their voice in Baton Rouge.”
Dozens of House Republicans in the Louisiana Conservative Caucus urged their colleagues this week to return to the capitol next month to consider 26 bills and one line-item vetoed by Gov. John Bel Edwards during the 2022 session, but some believe it’s unlikely to happen.
House Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Tanner Magee, R-Houma, told the Louisiana Illuminator a veto session is unlikely and unnecessary after a regular session and two redistricting sessions already in 2022.
“Going into a third special session would likely just waste tax dollars as it would be difficult to have the votes to override,” he told the news site. “Without the guarantee of an override, another session would likely upset the public as wasteful.”
Magee said he doesn’t think any of the bills rejected by the governor couldn’t wait to be addressed again in the next legislative session.
That perspective is undoubtedly disappointing to school choice advocates who championed two bills vetoed by Edwards that would have provided state funding for disabled students and those struggling to read that parents could have used to find better educational options outside of the public school system.
Those measures gained broad bipartisan support and were backed by the Pelican Institute, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, parents and other school choice proponents.
Other measures rejected by Edwards would have outlawed discrimination based on vaccination status, allowed corporate charter schools to seek charters from the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education instead of local school boards, and prevented emergency declarations that infringe on religious liberty.
Pastors from across the state pleaded with their representatives over the last week to override Edwards’ veto of House Bill 953, sponsored by Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, that would have prevented emergency rules that are more restrictive than those imposed on businesses, according to the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report.
Seabaugh told the news site he believes any decision about a veto override session will likely depend on whether a majority of senators return their ballots by July 11.
“It just depends on the Senate,” he said. “I think the House will not send the ballots in to cancel the veto session. The House usually doesn’t. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever sent one in.”