VETO SESSION: All Eyes Turn To The House Of Representatives

Yesterday at the veto session of the Louisiana Legislature, there were eight bills brought up in the Senate and only one was sent across the marble to the House. That was SB 156, the bill protecting girls’ sports from a prospective invasion by confused males, which advanced to the House on a razor-thin 26-12 margin. No Democrats voted for the bill; most conspicuous was Gary Smith, who attempts to bill himself as a conservative Democrat and has floated himself as a gubernatorial candidate on that basis.

Smith could have joined the Republicans to vote for the bill, as he did when it first came through the Senate, without affecting the outcome. He chose not to, which should close off any real discussion of him as someone Louisiana could stomach in the governor’s mansion.

Bye, Gary.

There is talk of perhaps seeing three bills, the most interesting of which is Sen. Robert Mills’ ballot-harvesting ban, (SB 63) which had nearly unanimous support in both houses when it was first sent to the governor’s desk, from the Senate to the House when the upper chamber begins its work at 4 p.m. today. But there is a reason those bills were returned to the calendar without a vote yesterday, so it might not be warranted to get too excited about their prospects. There is even talk of bringing SB 118, the constitutional carry bill, back up for another vote in the Senate. We’d love to see that; we sincerely doubt we will.

Which means the action is now in the House of Representatives, which sat around for several hours yesterday without doing anything.

There are 23 bills sitting on the House’s docket – 24 now that SB 156 has made its way over. Included in that number are appropriations bills where Edwards has struck line items out with vetoes. We doubt there will be votes to restore those line items.

We’re also not sure how many bills will get much of a hearing when the House begins its work at 1 p.m. today.

Here are the House bills which are on offer…

Instrument Author Status
HB1 ZERINGUE Vetoed by the Governor – Act 119 – See Veto Message more…
APPROPRIATIONS:  Provides for the ordinary operating expenses of state government for Fiscal Year 2021-2022
HB2 BISHOP Signed by the Governor – Act 485 – See Veto Message more…
CAPITAL OUTLAY:  Provides for the comprehensive Capital Outlay budget
HB20 MIGUEZ Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
ELECTIONS:  Prohibits the use of private funds to pay election-related expenses
HB26 MCCORMICK Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
TAX/SEVERANCE-EXEMPTION:  Provides with respect to the severance tax exemption for stripper wells (EN NO IMPACT GF RV See Note)
HB38 EDMONDS Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
FISCAL CONTROLS:  Provides for school board information to be accessible on the Louisiana Fiscal Transparency Website known as Louisiana Checkbook (EN INCREASE GF EX See Note)
HB103 MCCORMICK Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
LIABILITY/CIVIL:  Provides for liability relative to the administration of COVID-19 vaccinations (EN NO IMPACT GF EX See Note)
HB138 FARNUM Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
VOTING/REGISTRATION:  Provides for a supplemental annual canvass of registered voters (EN +$215,125 GF EX See Note)
HB148 ECHOLS Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
TAX/SALES-USE, STATE:  Exempts certain educational institutions from state sales and use tax on the lease or rental of tangible personal property (EN -$200,000 GF RV See Note)
HB149 FRIEMAN Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
LEGISLATIVE POWERS:  Provides relative to termination of emergency declarations
HB256 PHILLIP TARVER Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
SCHOOLS/EMPLOYEES:  Provides relative to payroll deductions for teachers and other school employees for organization dues
HB263 SEABAUGH Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
JUDGES:  Authorizes judges of the City Court of Shreveport to serve as an attorney member of a medical review panel
HB289 MCFARLAND Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
TAX CREDITS:  Establishes an income and corporate franchise tax credit for Class II and Class III railroads (EN -$2,000,000 GF RV See Note)
HB295 SEABAUGH Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
PROPERTY/IMMOVABLE:  Provides relative to immovable property in successions
HB349 EDMONSTON Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
MTR VEHICLE/DRIVER LIC:  Prohibits requiring vaccination verification or immunity status for certain transactions or for inclusion on a driver’s license or special identification card
HB365 FARNUM Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
RACING/COMMISSION:  Provides relative to the membership of the Louisiana State Racing Commission
HB438 MIGUEZ Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
PUBLIC RECORDS:  Authorizes a custodian to require a requestor of a public record to provide sufficient proof of identity
HB498 EDMONSTON Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
DISCRIMINATION:  Prohibits discrimination by government agencies and officials on the basis of vaccination or immunity status
HB516 ZERINGUE Vetoed by the Governor – Act 120 – See Veto Message more…
APPROPRIATIONS/SUPPLEML:  Makes supplemental appropriations for Fiscal Year 2020-2021
HB562 BOURRIAQUE Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
TAX APPEALS/BOARD:  Provides relative to the Louisiana Uniform Local Sales Tax Board and the Louisiana Sales and Use Tax Commission for Remote Sellers (EN SEE FISC NOTE GF RV See Note)
HB571 STEFANSKI Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES:  Provides relative to alcoholic beverage delivery
HB597 MIGUEZ Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
CONTRACTS:  Provides relative to prohibition on certain governmental entity contracts with companies that discriminate against firearm and ammunition industries (EN SEE FISC NOTE GF EX See Note)
HB698 BACALA Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
STATE AGENCIES:  Provides for state agency partnerships to improve Medicaid administration and program integrity (EN INCREASE GF EX See Note)
HB704 HODGES Vetoed by the Governor – See Veto Message more…
ELECTIONS:  Provides relative to elections (EN SEE FISC NOTE GF EX See Note)

Some of these bills are actually fairly important. Miguez’ HB 20 is the Zuckerbucks bill, which would prohibit private funding of public elections offices. It has a chance to pass on an override vote, assuming it gets every single Republican vote and independent Roy Daryl Adams, who says he’ll stick with his original “yes” vote, plus Democrat Francis Thompson don’t flip.

But if any of those 70 legislators flip, HB 20 will die.

That’s where we are on most of these bills. If the Republicans hold together and Adams, who we hear is beginning to drift into the Republican camp and might even change his party affiliation, sticks with them, they’re only one vote short of an override majority.

For the girls’ sports bill, that’s fairly easy. Thompson, who hails from an area in the Mississippi Delta where traditional values are paramount, is likely to stick with the GOP on SB 156.

But for things like HB 26, Rep. Danny McCormick’s bill which would provide an exemption from sales taxes on business utilities for “stripper wells” in the oil and gas industry, that isn’t so certain.

Nobody really knows whether 70 votes can be scared up on these bills. What’s also not known is whether House Speaker Clay Schexnayder is intent on moving them. We had heard Monday that the girls’ sports bill was the only one he was determined to have a vote on, but members of the House we talked to were adamant there would be more.

Guess we’ll find out at 1:00. Then we’ll have a better assessment of the House leadership’s performance.

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