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LA Senate To Debate Bill Enabling Oversight Of Governor's Emergency Powers

Courtesy: Senate Video Archives

BILL PASSED TO SENATE FOR DEBATE - Louisiana senators have started advancing a proposal to give themselves  some sway over Gov. John Bel Edwards’ executive powers in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.  This stems from criticism from Republican house and senate leadership  that the Democratic governor has failed to communicate with them. During the Senate Judiciary B committee meeting yesterday Senate President Page Cortez presented a bill that  would create a regulatory framework for legislative oversight when a Louisiana governor extends an emergency order for more than 30 days.

"Executive branch powers get expanded during a declared emergency. Legislative powers of oversight are very limited." Page Cortez, President - Louisiana Senate

"Executive branch powers get expanded during a declared emergency.  Legislative powers of oversight are very limited," Cortez explained. "So what as a legislator can you do to respond to your constituents when they have questions about the particular disaster or emergency?"

Page Cortez, President - Louisiana Senate

The one option Cortez explained is to call a special session  and pass new legislation. Cortez’s Senate Bill 29 falls short of what some conservative Republicans want in  that  it wouldn’t give lawmakers new avenues to stall those emergency decisions from taking effect. Yesterday - The Senate Judiciary B committee advanced Cortez's bill to the full Senate. A House committee today is scheduled to debate a more aggressive approach.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.