Of the two legislative bodies gathering for the veto session at the Louisiana Capitol today, the Senate was considered the less likely to pull the cord on a veto override of SB 156, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.
Which is not to say it wasn’t likely the Senate would. And this afternoon that’s exactly what they did. The Louisiana Family Forum’s writeup of what happened is as good as any…
BREAKING: Senate Overrides Veto of Fairness in Women’s Sports Act
Tuesday, July 20, 2021 (BATON ROUGE) – Members of the Louisiana Senate voted today to override Governor John Bel Edwards’ ill-advised veto of SB 156 – the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. The Louisiana House of Representatives is expected to hear the bill tomorrow in the final step to complete the override process.
Gene Mills, president of LFF, released this statement:
“This historic, first-in-state-history veto override session is being held because everyday citizens implored their elected leaders to preserve fairness and dignity for women in Louisiana. Despite Governor Edwards’ assertions that Fairness in Women’s Sports was a solution to a problem that did not exist, it is evident that the people of Louisiana thought otherwise.”
SB 156, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, introduced by Senator Beth Mizell (R-Franklinton), overwhelmingly passed the Senate (29-6) and House (78-17) in the regular legislative session. The governor overlooked the bipartisan support of these measures in his veto.
“Passing Fairness in Women’s Sports is a protective measure for our children that all Louisiana parents can and have gotten behind,” continued Mills. “We are thrilled that the Louisiana Senate rose up to the challenge of the governor’s vetoes and we look forward to the Louisiana House doing the same tomorrow.
House Speaker Clay Schexnayder said yesterday that he’s “100 percent” certain the votes to override Edwards’ veto on that bill.
We’ll see if any of his weaker members get influenced by antics like this which happened today…
Protesters enter chambers during opening remarks of Veto Override Session
A small group of protesters entered the chambers during the opening of session & held up a sign that read, “Protect Trans Youth.” The demonstrators were removed @WAFB #lalege https://t.co/aan2iqNQT1 pic.twitter.com/19n8H6gktp
— Lester Duhé (@LesterDuhe) July 20, 2021
That should happen tomorrow.
The vote on SB 156 was really something – the Senate overrode the veto by a 26-12, total party-line vote. There were no Democrats crossing over to vote for the bill.
Not even Gary Smith of Norco, who’s talking about running for governor as a “conservative” Democrat. There was speculation, which we touched on earlier today, that Smith would cross the aisle and support SB 156 and possibly SB 118, the constitutional carry bill, in order that he’d make his bones to run as something of a John Bel 2.0. Edwards, after all, despite a horrendously left-wing record in the state legislature, had positioned himself as pro-God/pro-gun/pro-life, et cetera and a cultural conservative who’d gone to West Point.
Smith’s voting record is considerably more centrist than Edwards, so the play for him would be to make a show of independence from the governor and from the national Democrat position on transgender advocacy in order to claim that mantle.
But he didn’t support either bill. In fact, of the four Senate bills brought up today for overrides, Smith was a no on every one.
And in several of those bills in the Senate we saw evidence of the flip-flop RINO factor. Five Republicans – Fred Mills, Franklin Foil, Louie Bernard, Rick Ward and Patrick Connick, flipped on one or more of them. Foil, Connick and Bernard flipped to “no” on SB 118, the constitutional carry bill and it went down on a 23-15 vote, though it might be brought up for another vote later. Three other bills, one by Sen. Bodi White involving exempting certain groundwater district commissioners from provisions of the Code of Governmental Ethics and two by Sen. Heather Cloud which would tighten voter ID requirements for absentee voting and which would put the legislative auditor’s office in charge of auditing election results, also fell short with Republicans flying the coop.
The House hasn’t taken up any bills yet. They’ve got 23 bills, including line-item vetoes on the two appropriations bills, to go through when they begin tomorrow, and then they have the option to take up SB 156 tomorrow or perhaps Thursday.
It’s beginning to look like there may not be any Democrats willing to cross the aisle, so the prospects appear bleak for multiple bills to survive a veto. But this isn’t yet known. Stay tuned.