Talk of state legislators going back to Baton Rouge for a special four-day veto override session is getting more serious.
Senate President Page Cortez says senators are likely to support the effort to try to overturn Gov. John Bel Edwards’ bill rejections. Meanwhile, House Republicans had indicated they have the support to hold the gathering.
So, what does this session entail, exactly?
A spokesperson for the governor says Edwards has until July 1 to sign or veto remaining bills -- then he has until July 3rd to let the House and Senate know his decisions.
Editor and publisher of LaPolitics Weekly Jeremy Alford says it is all a matter of timing and numbers.
“Right now, it looks highly likely that the legislature is going to trigger a history-making veto session,” he said.
If it happens, this would be the first special veto override session since legislators were given the option to do so in 1974.
For that to happen, however, 20 out of 39 senators and 53 out of 105 representatives would have to vote to either go into session or cancel the possibility.
“July 15 is the deadline for lawmakers to have their ballots in for the question of whether this veto session should be held or not,” Alford explained.
Once in session, if lawmakers want to override a veto from the governor, they must have 26 votes in the Senate and 70 in the house, or two-thirds of the lawmakers.
So far, the governor has vetoed two bills. Senate Bill 118 would allow gun owners to conceal carry their weapons without a permit.
He also vetoed Senate Bill 156, which would prevent transgender athletes from competing on girls’ sports teams in schools.
Alford says SB 156 has triggered this potential veto session.
“The transgender-related bill would probably be first on tap,” he said. “It looks like that’s the piece of legislation that has the most potential for a veto override in the legislature. I think you’ll see a strong vote in the Senate on that bill, as well as a strong vote in the House.”
If enough votes are gathered to start this special session, it would go on from July 20 to 24.
Alford says anything the governor has vetoed, from bills to single line items in budgets, would be on the agenda for this session.
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