Overriding Vetoes – What’s Next for Louisiana’s Legislature
The beauty of our American way of government is quite simply the system of checks and balances that have been organically engineered into the process. This translates down to our state government as well. If the process is allowed to proceed through this system there should be no way the actual will of the people can be denied.
One of the most powerful weapons a chief executive such as a President or Governor can hold in his or her arsenal is the veto. That basically gives that elected official the power to block or eliminate legislation that he or she feels is not to the benefit of the people of the electorate.
A veto override is the legislative branch's check and balance against a veto. However, in order to override the executive branch's denial of legislation, special conditions must be met. A veto override usually requires more than a simple majority to undo.
The Louisiana Legislature has never held a veto override session. But it does look as if that could be happening next month. Governor Edwards's recent veto of the Fairness in Women's Sports Act and his threatened veto of changes in Louisiana's concealed carry laws could be the catalyst needed to get legislators to return to Baton Rouge.
Here's how a veto override session would unfold. In the first week of July, legislators will be mailed a ballot. That ballot will simply ask if they want a veto session. Both chambers of the legislature, the House of Representatives and the Senate must agree to the session. If only one body approves and the other does not then the session will be a no-go.
Louisiana Speaker of the House Clay Schexnayder has gone on record as saying he would support a four-day veto override session. Many political pundits in the state believe the support for a veto override session is there in the House but there might not be enough support in the Senate to make it so.
Regardless, we will just have to wait and see how it all unfolds. Meanwhile, I guess the only thing we can count on is change. Don't believe me? Just look at how Lafayette has changed through the years.
70 Google Maps Images That Show How Much Lafayette Has Changed