Louisiana Legislature adjourns veto override session after falling short of reversals

The Louisiana Legislature ended its first-ever veto override session after failing to gather enough support to revive any of the bills Gov. John Bel Edwards had rejected.

Edwards had quashed 28 bills from the 2021 regular session and made several line-item vetoes in three budget bills. All of those measures were up for reconsideration in the override session that convened Tuesday and could have lasted until midnight Saturday.

But the fate of the session came down to two controversial proposals. One would have banned transgender athletes from taking part in girls’ and women’s sports. The other would have allowed concealed firearm permits to be granted without training, as required under current law.

Both bills originated in the state Senate, where members reconsidered them Tuesday. Only the transgender sports measure was advanced to the House of Representatives, with the firearms permit proposal failing to garner the needed two-thirds backing from senators.

The House voted 68-30 Wednesday in favor of overriding the governor’s veto of the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. That was two votes shy of the 70 needed to make the bill law.

“You have some people who are fueled by passion and not by reason,” Edwards said in a news conference after the veto override session adjourned. The governor stressed that lawmakers who were against his vetoes are “good people” that he would continue to work with over the remainder of his term in office.

Republicans hold a majority in both chambers of the majority but are just short of the two-thirds representative needed to override a veto. Edwards is the only Democratic governor in the Deep South.

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