Republican lawmakers convened the state’s first-ever veto session yesterday with hopes for overriding Gov. John Bel Edwards’ vetoes of several key bills in something of a power struggle between the Democratic governor and Republican Legislature.
At the end of the first contentious day, the Senate had agreed to override Edwards’ veto of a bill targeting transgender athletes, but rejected attempts to bypass the governor on several other bills. Among those that failed was the other main bill targeted by legislative leaders for an override attempt: a proposal to allow for concealed carry of guns without a permit.
Today’s focus will shift to the state House, where Republican leaders will try to get enough Democrats to vote with them to turn the transgender bill into law. Senators voted 26-12 to override the governor’s veto, the exact number needed on a strictly party-line vote.
Sen. Beth Mizell of Franklinton urged members to vote based on their conscience, then alluded to an intense lobbying effort put on by Edwards and many in the business community who suggest the state will lose out on sporting events and other business opportunities if the bill becomes law.