Gov’s Lawyer: Emergency Rules are Still in Effect [VIDEO]
Matthew Block, Executive Counsel for Governor John Bel Edwards, explains why the Governor thinks the petition just passed by the Louisiana House ending his emergency declaration is unconstitutional.
Block, representing the Edwards, filed a suit on Monday with the 19th Louisiana Judicial District Court to have the legislative petition, which had the backing of 65 of 68 Republican lawmakers, ruled invalid.
State Representative Alan Seabaugh, an early backer of the petition, told KEEL in a Monday interview that, in his opinion, the Governor's emergency declaration is over.
"The law disagrees with that," says Block, referring to Seabaugh's statement, "What the law says...specifically says that one chamber - in this case the House - can petition the Governor to terminate the emergency, but it takes an act by the Governor is required to take an additional action to terminate his own emergency before the emergency terminates."
And why does Governor Edwards feel he needs a court decision to ignore the House petition he is already ignoring? "If Mr. Seabaugh, the Attorney General (Jeff Landry) and others are out there telling the folks in their communities that the order has been terminated by an act of the House of Representatives, people need certainty, people need to know what the rules are and the Governor has been very clear that he is going to take every step necessary to help Louisiana respond to this emergency."
So, the emergency declaration is still in effect? "Right," Block says, "But what the Governor's said from the beginning is...he doesn't believe we can enforce our way out of this emergency. We need people to do their very best to comply. The Governor knows this has been extremely tough on everybody, but we also know we are in the middle of an historic emergency...and if we don't all do our part...we will have thousands more that we will lose."