Bill requiring override session anytime the governor vetoes a bill fails in committee

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - State Rep. Jerome Richard didn't leave the Capitol quietly Tuesday.

"It's a sad day in Louisiana. I can tell you that," said Rep. Richard, I-Thibodaux.

Discouraged after his measure, HB 31, failed, Richard then shelved another bill he says is also aimed at limiting the governor's power.

HB 32 would get rid of the governor's authority to pick and choose what he wants to veto without vetoing a bill entirely. That's called a line item veto.

"I didn't want to waste their time. it's obvious it looks like I'm wasting their time," said Rep. Richard.

Rep. Richard wasn't wasting the time of Rep. Jeff Arnold.

Rep. Richard had his vote, but it wasn't enough.

"Being the longest member serving in this House, we have not overwritten a veto in my 13 years here," said Rep. Arnold, D-Algiers.

Perhaps a decisive factor, just seven of eleven committee members were present to vote.

"You're three or four members short of the committee in a 4-3 vote. I don't know what it takes for some of these guys to see what needs to be done to change things," said Rep. Richard.

There was no changing the mind of committee chairman Henry Burns. Rep. Burns wants to keep his choice on whether or not to try and override a veto.

"One concern I have is that it's just mandatory and we just show up. Do you think you're bringing us here unnecessarily," asked Rep. Burns, R-Haughton.

"It's written into the constitution. Why shouldn't we come back and vote public rather than vote secret ballot? I bet you half of your constituents do not realize that we get secret ballot to vote not to come back to Baton Rouge," answered Rep. Richard.

Rep. Richard said HB 31 is especially needed in cases where a bill overwhelmingly passes the House and Senate, only to be dismissed on the governor's desk.

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