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Here’s what happened during first day of veto override session

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 5:40 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2021 at 5:43 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - This first day was only gaveled in for a few minutes before things took a dramatic turn as lawmakers tackled one of the most controversial bills - transgender athletes competing in female sports.

For the first time since Louisiana’s constitution was ratified in 1974, lawmakers headed back to Baton Rouge for a veto-override session.

Lawmakers were quickly welcomed by passionate activists from the house balcony who were forcibly removed by capitol security. Over on the other side of the building, Senator Beth Mizell took up her bill restricting biological males from competing in female sports, which received two very different perspectives.

“Do we want to grow our economy; do we want to recover from this pandemic, or do we want to discriminate? It’s gonna be crystal clear. But it’s not just big corporations that will snub us. It’s also major sporting events,” said Sen. Karen Carter Peterson (D).

“It’s always about money to change minds, it’s always about money to do this... but what about our morals, what about our good decent morals?” Sen. Michael Fesi (R) said in reply.

The bill passed by the exact number of votes it needed for a supermajority at 26 to 12. The same thing must happen in the House for the veto to be overturned.

Sen. Jay Morris did not have the same luck with his bill, which does away with the requirement to have a permit to conceal carry a firearm, a bill some law enforcement leaders spoke out against in recent weeks.

“When groups, individuals, and groups of law enforcement people who have given their lives to this tell me that this creates yet another level of risk for them...I can’t ignore that,” said Sen. Louis Bernard (R).

“When tempers get involved, and situations get heated, and you have a gun on your side...you need training,” Sen. Gary Smith (D) added.

And because several lawmakers who voted in favor of the bill during the regular session decided to change their vote this go around, the bill failed to pass out of the Senate and will remain vetoed by the governor.

Both chambers have adjourned until tomorrow afternoon where they will pick up from where they left off today, which includes bills concerning election integrity and measures that would not allow public entities to deny access to those who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine.

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