Informer: It’s still possible for Louisiana lawmakers to return for veto session

Published 4:23 am Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Will the Louisiana Legislature have a veto session this year?

It’s possible.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, as of Monday, has vetoed one bill, Senate Bill 196, and 19 line items from the budget supplemental appropriations bill, House Bill 560.

Email newsletter signup

The Louisiana Constitution requires lawmakers to meet on the 14th day following the regular session — which adjourned on June 8 — to consider vetoes for override unless a majority of members of either chamber declare in writing it’s unnecessary five days prior. Lawmakers have not submitted such a declaration.

Senate Bill 196 — sponsored by Sen. Barrow Peacock, R-Bossier City — would have increased transparency in the legal system by requiring disclosure of third-party litigation financing. The bill cleared the House 55-28 and in the Senate with a vote of 30-8.

Edwards said he vetoed the bill because it “only requires plaintiffs to unilaterally disclose their commercial legal financing arrangements.”

“If true transparency is what was intended, the legislation would have required all parties to disclose their legal financing arrangements,” he wrote. “The proposed structure has one desired outcome — to deter commercial legal finance companies from doing business in Louisiana.”

While House Bill 560 might not trigger a veto session, three anti-LGBTQ+ bills passed by the Legislature could.

House Bill 466 by Rep. Dodie Horton, R-Haughton, prohibits discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in public schools. House Bill 81 by Rep. Raymond Crews, R-Bossier City, would prohibit school employees from using transgender students’ preferred names or pronouns unless they have parental approval. House Bill 648 by Rep. Gabe Firment, R-Pollock, bans gender-affirming health care for trans youth.

At the customary end-of-session news conference, Edwards said it his “expectation” to veto these bills.

“Members of this community believe they’re being attacked for who they are,” Edwards has said. “Members of the trans community are much more likely than other young people to have suicidal ideation or attempts or to actually be successful. These kinds of bills do not tend to help with that. In fact, they aggravate that situation and then cause it to be worse.”

The Legislature, which has a supermajority in both chambers, has the option to override the vetoes. Two-thirds majority votes in each chamber is required to do so.

Handgun permit

Can a non-Louisiana resident openly carry firearms in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, open carry of both long guns and handguns is allowed. Concealed carry of firearms, meanwhile, is a different story.

Louisiana law provides that a valid concealed handgun permit issued in another state is valid in Louisiana if the person is not a Louisiana resident, and the permit was issued by a state that recognizes Louisiana’s concealed handgun permits.

A bill to allow permitless concealed carry of firearms for Louisiana residents was withdrawn by the lawmaker who authored it during this most recent Louisiana legislative session.

House Bill 131, authored by Rep. Danny McCormick, R-Oil City, would have allowed Louisiana residents 21 and older to carry concealed firearms without a permit. Under the bill, they would not have been required to undergo any in-person or online training. McCormick elected to voluntarily defer his permitless concealed carry bill after amendments were proposed by members of the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee.

Sen. Gary L. Smith, D-Norco, proposed an amendment that would have required individuals engaging in permitless concealed carry to present identification to police officers when prompted.

Sen. W. Jay Luneau, R-Alexandria, proposed amendments that would have added in required training for obtaining a permit for concealed carry. Luneau’s amendments also would have required the existing safety course for concealed carry permits to be extended to 4 ½ hours from two hours and 15 minutes.

Now, under Louisiana state law, permitless concealed carry is legal only for residents who have served in the military.

Informer is written by Crystal Stevenson, American Press executive editor. To ask a question, call 494-4098 and leave voice mail, or email