Lawmakers narrowly refused a proposal Tuesday that would have required the Louisiana Legislature to reconvene in a veto session when a governor rejects bills.
The House and Governmental Affairs Committee voted 4-3 against House Bill 31 by Thibodaux Rep. Jerome “Dee” Richard, who has no party affiliation.
Though legislators have twice voted to override a gubenatorial veto in recent years, in both instances the Legislature was still in session. Lawmakers have never held a veto session since the modern constitution was enacted more than 40 years ago. The Legislature can cancel the override session with a majority vote of either the House or Senate.
Richard’s bill would have taken away the ability for lawmakers to scrap the veto session. Because it was a constitutional amendment, it would have required voter approval.
“It’s time that we start taking back the legislative branch of government,” Richard said.
Committee Chairman Tim Burns said he was concerned the session would be mandatory, and he was the tiebreaker vote to kill the bill.
After losing on that measure, Richard voluntarily shelved a bill to remove the governor’s ability to line-item veto spending in the budget.