Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry released a statement Saturday on a petition put forth by the state House of Representatives to terminate Governor John Bel Edwards' emergency proclamations.
Released by the house on Friday, the petition terminates the COVID-19 emergency proclamation effective upon receipt of the petition by the governor for seven days.
A statement from the house reads, "At no time since the start of the pandemic has the governor taken meaningful steps to address legislative concerns in any substantive way," the release states. "The Legislature will make no apologies for simply standing up for the people we collectively represent. The House has exhausted every available legislative remedy and has been left with no other option but to exercise its legislative right to terminate the Governor’s emergency order."
Edwards said at a press briefing on Friday that he had not yet seen the petition and called it 'reckless and irresponsible.' He added that he would look at what the petition says and take a look at state law as well. His administration says that the law allowing legislators in only one chamber to overturn a governor's emergency declaration is unconstitutional, the Associated Press reports, while the house has stated that the legislature was assured by Landry that its actions are lawful and constitutional.
Landry's statement reads,"The emergency powers act and the emergency health powers act are written to outline what extraordinary powers are granted to the Governor during a declared emergency. A termination clause is included outlining a simple process for pressing the stop button. Immediately upon termination, the emergency powers cease and the Governor's powers revert to the ordinary powers afforded the Governor as outlined by our Constitution and laws. The termination process is effective immediately, unless provided otherwise in the petition, when a petition is signed by a majority of the surviving members within either body of the Legislature, the Senate or the House. The termination of emergency powers does not require any additional action other than the signed petition. Upon completion of the signed petition, the Governor is directed to issue a proclamation informing the public of the termination."
Edwards added at the briefing that Phase Three restrictions and guidelines remain in effect, with the current Phase Three order set to expire on November 6.
The petition states that the termination of Proclamation 134 JBE 2020 will have no effect on hurricane-related emergency declarations.
The petition can be read in full below.
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