Louisiana Lawmakers Fail to Reverse Gov. Edwards’ Transgender Sports Ban Veto
An attempt to override a Governor John Bel Edwards veto of legislation banning transgender girls from school sports teams in Louisiana failed Wednesday when lawmakers in the state House of Representatives fell two votes short.
The final House tally was 68-30. Backers of the bill needed a 70 vote super-majority of legislators to pass. On Tuesday the Louisiana Senate had voted 26-12 to override the bill rejection, the minimum number necessary to override the Governor.
Soon after Louisiana lawmakers ended the state's first ever veto session, during which Republicans failed to overturn any of Edwards' vetoes. The Governor had vetoed 28 in all.
Louisiana conservatives were attempting to join seven other states - Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, Montana, and West Virginia - that have enacted women's sports protection legislation in their most recent sessions.
The rejection of the attempted override is seen as a blow to the state's Republicans and, more specifically, House Speaker Clay Schexnayder. On Monday Schexnayder had told the Baton Rouge Press Club that he was "100% certain" that he had the votes to turn back the Governor and uphold the will of the people.
In a statement released Wednesday, Speaker Schexnayder said, “While I am frustrated by the result, I am encouraged by the fact that we did something that has never been done in this state in asserting our legislative independence. Veto sessions should be the norm from now on.”
Interestingly, the Governor's veto of the bill, authored by GOP Rep. Beth Mizell of Franklinton, was based in economics and not principal. The Governor said the veto override would have damaged Louisiana's ability to bring large conventions and major sporting events to the state.