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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Senators vote against holding veto session

Senators vote against holding veto session

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Lawmakers won't be returning to Baton Rouge to reconsider Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget cuts and bill rejections.

Twenty-six of 39 senators voted to cancel the veto session that had been scheduled for July 16, according to a vote tally released Friday by the Senate. All that was needed to kill the session was a majority vote of one legislative chamber.

"Twenty-six and thirteen. Next week isn't going to be so busy after all," Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, who supported the veto session, said on Twitter after learning of the outcome.

The scrapping of the session came despite a push from advocates for the disabled who wanted lawmakers to revisit Jindal's line-item budget vetoes of $6 million lawmakers had planned for disabled services in the fiscal year that began July 1.

But the outcome of the vote wasn't surprising. Lawmakers have never held a veto session since the current state constitution was enacted four decades ago.

The veto session was automatically set to begin next week when Jindal jettisoned seven bills and removed 31 items from this year's budget.

As has happened in recent years, the Senate was the chamber that made sure the session wasn't held. Only 38 of 105 House members voted to cancel the session, 15 votes short of what was needed for the House to cause the shelving of the session.

Senate President John Alario and House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, both Jindal allies, opposed the veto session, citing the price tag and other uncertainties.

"I am of the belief that not holding a veto session is in our state's best interest, considering the costs involved and the uncertainly of garnering the necessary two-thirds vote to override any veto," Alario, R-Westwego, said in a statement.

Rep. John Bel Edwards, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, wanted lawmakers to reconsider the governor's rejection of the disabled services funding. He said Friday that he wasn't shocked the Senate canceled the session, but was disappointed.

"I guess I'm left to just hoping that Sen. Alario has worked out something with the administration that will prove to be at least somewhat helpful to the disabled community," he said.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Senators who voted to block the veto session:

President John Alario, R-Westwego.Robert Adley, R-Benton.Bret Allain, R-Franklin.Jody Amedee, R-Gonzales.Conrad Appel, R-Metairie.Sharon Weston Broome, D-Baton Rouge.Troy Brown, D-Napoleonville.Sherri Smith Buffington, R-Keithville.Norby Chabert, R-Houma.Jack Donahue, R-Mandeville.Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb, D-Baton Rouge.Elbert Guillory, D-Opelousas.David Heitmeier, D-New Orleans.Ronnie Johns, R-Lake Charles.Bob Kostelka, R-Monroe.Gerald Long, R-Winnfield.Danny Martiny, R-Kenner.Dan “Blade” Morrish, R-Jennings.Ed Murray, D-New Orleans.Barrow Peacock, R-Bossier City.Neil Riser, R-Columbia.John Smith, R-Leesville.Greg Tarver, D-Shreveport.Francis Thompson, D-Delhi.Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe.Mack “Bodi” White, R-Central.Source: Louisiana State Senate