Louisiana lawmakers vote to hold veto session

Published 11:07 am Saturday, July 15, 2023

(The Center Square) – Louisiana lawmakers voted Thursday night to hold a session to override several vetoes of bills by Gov. John Bel Edwards that passed both chambers by significant majorities, including one that would ban gender transitions for minors and another that would end the state’s corporate franchise tax.

The state constitution requires an override session unless most lawmakers from either chamber vote not to proceed. Republicans didn’t overturn any vetoes during the first override session in state history in 2021, but last year, they undid Edwards’ veto of congressional redistricting legislation.

The session will start Tuesday and last five days. The GOP has supermajorities in both chambers required to override the governor’s 28 vetoes.

Among the bills lawmakers could take up is Senate Bill 1 that would phase out the state’s corporate franchise tax, as Louisiana is one of the 16 states still levying this tax. According to the Tax Foundation, Louisiana’s tax is the second highest, assessed at 0.275% and has no limits.

SB 1 would phase out the franchise tax at a rate of 25% per year if corporate income tax revenues remain above $600 million.

Another bill that would likely be up for override would be House Bill 648, which bans gender transition surgeries and hormone treatments for minors.

Also related include HB 81 that would prohibit school employees from using students’ preferred pronouns without parental consent and HB 466 which would ban discussion on gender identity and sexual orientation in public schools.

HB 648’s sponsor, Rep. Gabe Firment, R-Pollock, says he wants to override Edwards’ veto of his legislation.

Among the other vetoed bills that could be taken up by lawmakers include one that would establish a 25-foot safety zone for police; require an annual purge of the state’s voter rolls; provide additional pay for teachers and other school employees; allow a court to determine if parole can be denied to “dangerous offenders;” mandate notification requirements for insurance companies; clarify school immunization requirements; ban central bank digital currency; and increase transparency in health care pricing.

 

Lawmakers could also address line-item vetoes from Edwards from the state’s budget.