Two things surfaced over the weekend which demonstrate that it isn’t just in economics where Louisiana is lagging terribly behind Texas and the rest of the country. Louisiana’s legislature is failing to do the most obvious things related to core conservative competency while its neighbors are advancing an agenda. That’s on Clay Schexnayder, the House Speaker, and it’s becoming more and more obvious he’s Wrong Way Clay.
First, let’s check out what Texas did over the weekend…
The Texas Senate passed a bill early Saturday morning that would ban schools from requiring teachers to discuss polarizing current events or social issues in class. It now heads to the governor’s desk.
One of those subjects is critical race theory, a relatively new concept that looks at how race relations have shaped the current social, cultural and legal world around us. The Texas House passed the bill on May 11, but will have to approve it again due to changes made by the Senate.
House Bill 3979 would also require teachers who choose to discuss those issues with students to include viewpoints “from diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective.”
Educators opposed to the bill say kids seek out clarity on current events from instructors, who they view as a trusted source of information, and if passed, would stop teachers from pushing their students to think critically about the world.
“Just the fear of that alone is going to prevent teachers from really delving into a lot of these topics,” Round Rock ISD Instructional Coach Meghan Dougherty said in an interview with KXAN earlier this month. “It’s not that teachers are trying to indoctrinate students, it’s that they are trying to help students understand these issues, help them understand the different perspectives and facilitate positive, productive conversations in the classroom around these issues.”
The Association of Professional Educators also opposed the bill.
The teachers threw an absolute fit over Texas’ Critical Race Theory bill, which was somewhat similar to the one Rep. Ray Garofalo brought in Louisiana and lost his chairmanship of the House Education Committee over, as Wrong Way Clay buckled to the demands of the Legislative Black Caucus.
But Texas has actual conservatives in its legislature, and they took one look at Critical Race Theory and decided it wasn’t something Texas taxpayers needed to fund in the schools. They didn’t care that voting for that bill would put targets on their backs from the teachers’ unions or that the Hard Left would try to brand them as racists.
They knew CRT is a terrible thing and needs to be stopped, and that the voters in Texas will reward them for doing so.
Which is the same calculation legislators in Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida and lots of other states have come to.
Garofalo’s Critical Race Theory bill is dead. Rep. Valarie Hodges has another bill, HB 352, which essentially mandates a patriotic teaching of history in Louisiana’s public schools, which is similar to the bill passed unanimously in Florida which covered the Critical Race Theory issue there. That bill is supposed to be heard on the floor of the House today and it’s expected to pass – though probably not with enough votes to override a veto.
But what won’t be voted on today is another bill related to core conservatism. SB 156, by Sen. Beth Mizell, would protect girls’ sports in Louisiana’s public schools and elsewhere by prohibiting biological men from invading them. It’s a similar bill to the one filed by Rep. Beryl Amedee in the House which couldn’t get out of the Education Committee, coming as it did amid Garofalo’s ordeal. and a pair of RINO representatives on the committee, Stephanie Hilferty and Barbara Freiberg, voted to kill it. But Hilferty and Freiberg voted in favor of Mizell’s bill after an outcry ensued about their votes on Amedee’s bill and now it’s on the floor.
It’s been on the House floor waiting for a vote since it got out of committee on May 13. It still isn’t scheduled for floor debate.
And if it isn’t voted on by May 31 the Legislature will be out of session by the time it would have an opportunity to override the veto that Edwards has promised would come, because John Bel Edwards might call himself a conservative but he’s in lockstep with the national Democrat Party on pretty much everything other than abortion. There’s a 10-day window from the time a bill hits the governor’s desk to his deadline for signing it or vetoing it, and once this session ends on June 10 it is almost assured that no override session will be called.
Not for Mizell’s bill or anything else.
So all Schexnayder has to do is to sit on Mizell’s bill for another week and then the House can pass it without actually making any public policy, because when Edwards vetoes the bill, which he’ll do with the excuse that he’s saving the Women’s Final Four in New Orleans next year because the NCAA would otherwise pull it from Louisiana – that’s a lie if he tells it, by the way, because the NCAA was bluffing when they said they would boycott states with “anti-trans” girls’ sports bills and they proved it when they sited softball regionals and the Women’s College World Series in states with laws just like Mizell’s bill would make – they’ll just drop the whole thing.
And then it’s a matter of time before some mixed-up boy sets the girls’ record in some track event following an injunction some judge in Orleans or East Baton Rouge grants against the LHSAA, and all hell will break loose.
This is the kind of bill a conservative legislature in a red state like Louisiana ought to be clamoring to pass and turn into law. And yet Wrong Way Clay has sat on it for a week and a half with the clock ticking and the opportunity melting away to have it on Edwards’ desk with the ability to override his veto before the end of the session.
If this irritates you, and if seeing every other state in the South addressing these easy issues vast majorities of people agree with the conservative positions on while Louisiana’s leadership lacks the stones to take them on makes you think we’ve got to do better, then it might be worth your while to call Schexnayder’s office and ask him to get SB 156 on the House floor for a vote this week.
Before the clock runs out. And Louisiana fails yet again to do the easy, obvious things our neighbors don’t have a problem doing.