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Here’s what Republicans face going into historical veto override session

Speaker of the House Clay Schexnayder (R-Gonzales)
Speaker of the House Clay Schexnayder (R-Gonzales)(WAFB)
Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 6:06 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Lawmakers will begin their battle royal at noon on Tuesday, July 20, to try to override some of the governor’s vetoes.

House Speaker Clay Schexnayder (R-Gonzales) laid out on Monday, July 19, how he and his fellow Republicans feel leading up to this historical veto session. Republicans wanted, and got, this veto session to look at the 28 bills Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed. They can override those vetoes if they get enough lawmakers on their side. As lawmakers anxiously wait for the kickoff of the session, the Speaker of the House addressed the Baton Rouge Press Club about what can be expected.

“It’s not something that we were wanting or planned for or scheduled for,” said Schexnayder. “It’s something new to everybody, the governor, as well as the Senate and the House.”

Although the historic session is scheduled to last until July 24, the speaker said he does not anticipate it lasting that long.

“I’m expecting us not to be there the full five days that we have. I’m expecting us to finish this early,” explained Schexnayder.

The two bills in the spotlight are the constitutional carry bill and the Women’s Protection Act, which restricts biological males from competing in women’s sports. It is a bill that Schexnayder feels most confident in overturning the governor’s veto.

“I feel comfortable 100% on the Women’s Protection Act,” he said confidently.

Now that Republicans have gotten the session they asked for, Schexnayder was asked what he has done to try to make sure he has the two-thirds votes he needs to overturn the governor’s vetoes.

“I haven’t reached out to any members; members have called me. Um, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and uh, I think we have a road to success with both sides. I think the conversations I’ve had with members that have called me, I’m comfortable and I feel positive enough that we have the votes,” replied Schexnayder.

But the Senate may have its own set of issues. Right now, it barely holds the supermajority it needs by one vote, meaning it cannot afford any more Republicans to be absent.

Sen. Ronnie Johns (R-Lake Charles) will not be attending the session due to knee surgery but some see his absence as convenient. He recently told his hometown newspaper that he is up for consideration by the governor to chair the Gaming Control Board. And having Johns miss the session is most likely what Edwards is hoping to see.

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