Louisiana Lawmakers To Convene For Historic Veto Override Session

Jul 20, 2021

Credit Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

LA VETO SESSION-  Today  Louisiana lawmakers will convene for the first time ever in a special session for the purpose of overriding Governor John Bel Edwards’ vetoes of bills passed in the recent regular session.  This will test the limits of the Republican-dominated legislature’s power over the Democratic governor.   This all takes place as the majorities of both the state House and Senate declined to return ballots to avoid the veto session.   Edwards vetoed 28 bills which could be overturned however the likely focus of the session will be two bills:  one that would prevent transgender student athletes from participating in a sport based on their gender identity AND another bill that allows persons 21 years and older to carry concealed- firearms without a permit.  At his last press conference,  Governor Edwards had this to say about the veto session.              

"There is a difference between the majority in  the House and the Senate that are required to call themselves into override session and 2/3rds vote needed in both in order to actually override a veto," Edwards explained. "The vetoes that I issued I fully stand behind."

"The vetoes that I issued I fully stand behind." Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana
Governor John Bel Edwards (D) of Louisiana
Credit Courtesy: LPB

To overturn a governor’s veto would require 2/3rds vote in both chambers.  Out of 104 current House members – 70 would be needed to override a veto.  In the Senate there are 39 members. One Republican Senator-Ronnie Johns of Lake Charles will miss the session for health reasons, leaving Senate Republicans without any votes to spare for a veto override.

For his part, Governor Edwards has campaigned hard to block an override of his vetoes.  Any lawmaker absent from the session would be in effect a vote against any override.  The veto session can last up to five days but is expected to conclude by Saturday.