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Monday, July 4, 2022

Louisiana Gov. Edwards Vetoes 17 Newly Passed Bills

BATON ROUGE ( Associated Press) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Monday vetoed 17 recent bills, including legislation that would increase criminal penalties and prevent government agencies from denying entry to a building based on COVID-19 vaccine status.

In total, the Democrat vetoed 23 bills. adopted during the 2022 regular legislative session, which adjourned on June 6. All but one The bills thrown out by the governor were sponsored by Republican legislators.

Among the list of laws rejected on Monday were several measures that toughened criminal sentences and punishments and created new criminal charges, including establishing the crime of resisting a police officer with the use of force or violence.

Edwards called the proposed new crime “the opposite”. he will back away from the 2017 reforms that pushed Louisiana’s status as the state with the highest incarceration rate in the nation.

Check it would have required any person over the age of 17 convicted of producing or manufacturing methamphetamine to register with local law enforcement has also been delayed.

In his veto argument to lawmakers, Edwards wrote that instead of giving someone a “scarlet letter” for a single drug offense, the focus should be on treatment.

The governor also vetoed the bill this will reduce the speed at which the sentence can be reduced for anyone convicted of the death of a peace officer or first responder killed in the line of duty to one day out of every 30 days of detention.

“This bill would unfairly treat a person convicted of a crime of negligence the same as a person convicted of a willful crime,” Edwards wrote.

Criminal penalties, sentences and charges were not the only bills that were repealed. Edwards vetoed the bill this will prohibit government agencies and public schools from requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccine to enter buildings or for workers.

“This bill is unnecessary and perpetuates the misconception that Louisiana residents face the need for vaccinations to access public services or attend schools. It’s not like that,” Edwards wrote. “The bill also aims to undermine public confidence in vaccines that are safe, effective and essential to public health.”

In addition, two education-related bills that would allow students to leave public schools and use annual public assistance to attend private schools or choose other education options also received the governor’s seal of disapproval.

One of the proposed measures – which passed in the Senate 24-7 and was approved in the House of Representatives 97-0 – will help second and third grade students read below grade level. Another account will also create a program to “provide public funding for the education of students with special needs who are not enrolled in a public school.”

Edwards has long been skeptical of the bills, in particular stating that the legislation does not create accounts for parents to save money for education and that the change could potentially divert money away from the Foundation’s Minimum Program, a $4 billion source of funding for Louisiana’s public schools.

“As passed, this bill will allow children of wealthy parents to attend private schools subsidized by taxpayer dollars,” Edwards wrote in his reasoning.

But proponents of the law say the law will give parents new ways to help children with disabilities or struggles with reading receive special education.

“For far too long, our state has been ranked last when it comes to educational outcomes,” Daniel Erspamer, CEO of the Pelican Public Policy Institute, said in a press release. after the governor’s veto. “Bold reforms like education savings accounts will help our children get into the schools that best suit their needs so they have a brighter future.”

Legislators can return to the Capitol to override the governor’s veto if they choose.

Under Louisiana’s constitution, a veto session is called automatically when the governor vetoes a bill. However, a majority vote in either the House of Representatives or the Senate can overrule the meeting, a decision that is often made too late.

Last year, lawmakers held their first veto session since Louisiana’s current constitution was passed in 1974.

World Nation News Desk
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