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Business owners react to AG Landry's opinion on executive orders

Posted at 10:34 PM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 23:34:26-04

Questions are being raised about Gov. Edwards' executive orders after Attorney General Jeff Landry's opinion says much of it is likely unconstitutional.

The governor's recent orders are aimed at stopping the spread amid an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases. Among the order is a mask mandate and the closure of all bars for on-site consumption.

An Attorney General's opinion on the matter was requested by eight lawmakers, including two from Iberia Parish. AG Landry released his opinion on Wednesday.

Many concerned business owners wanted clarity on the mandate as well, including New Iberia resident and owner of Emerald Billiards Keith Hulin.

Inside Emerald's, you'll find hundreds of empty tables and the bar, like so many across the state, is shut down. Hulin said on a typical Wednesday night, his business sees 75-100 customers.

This is now the second time he's been forced to close because of the pandemic.

"We have huge expenses at these bars. If [Gov. Edwards] wants us to shut down, cut us some checks," Hulin said.

Hulin and Ty Baudoin, who owns the Quarter Tavern, reached out to state representative Beau Beaullieu.

"Why should we get shut down when we are following all the rules?' said Baudoin. "Then these other places - I've been to Lowe's I don't know how many times, but you can bump people shoulder to shoulder all day."

Even with the attorney general's opinion, these bar owners plan to follow the governor's mandate and stay closed - at least for now.

"You shouldn't have to tell me what to do, what I should do in my own place," they added. "It should be my decision."

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