While the ex-president was being indicted (again), our legislators wrapped up another legislative session. You know the legislative session, the annual gathering where the people we sometimes regret electing get together and tinker with our lives. Well this year, there was some serious tinkering going on. Let’s look at a few that failed, flopped, and flew through.
HB131. First on the list is HB131, also known as the constitutional carry bill. It would’ve allowed anybody 18 or older to carry a gun (concealed or out in the open) without a permit or any type of mandatory training. Rep. Danny McCormick (a Republican, of course) sponsored the bill. And it flopped. Again. It died a death by a thousand amendments.
Who knows which amendment drove McCormick to pull the bill. Maybe it was the one that gave a police officer the right to not only take your gun, but your driver’s license too, if you’re caught drunk and armed in public. Or maybe it was the one that made it a requirement to take an online course. Whichever it was, McCormick withdrew the bill, then went on talk radio and blamed it on the governor. He vowed things will be different next year when there’s a strong Republican in office. Right now, there’s a super majority of strong Republicans in the House and Senate. But we’re to believe the bill failed because of the governor.
HB321 Also known as Attorney General Jeff Landry’s first defeat. Landry was the brain behind HB321. Rep. Debbie Villio (a Republican, of course) sponsored it. This bill would’ve made certain juvenile court records open to the public. Another way to frame would be that the bill would’ve made the records of certain juveniles open to the public. Mainly the black ones. The bill only made this legal in Orleans, East Baton Rouge, and Caddo parishes, i.e. where a lot of black people live.
Let Republicans tell it, this was just going to be a test run before it was proposed statewide. Score one for dishonesty or tone deafness. “Yes, we’re going to experiment on the black kids before deciding whether this is good for all kids statewide.”
The bill died in the Senate Finance Committee. The first defeat for Jeff Landry. With him up for governor, hopefully it’s not the last time he will be humbled.
Just pick any bill that had anything to do with transgenders. It was not a good session for transgenders this legislative session, even the hypothetical ones.
One bill, HB648, was sponsored by Rep. Michael “Gabe” Firment (a Republican, of course). With the passing of this bill, the zero kids who had zero sex changes in this state can no longer have them now. That’s right, it was a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Maybe it was meant to tackle hypothetical transgenders. Who knows. But it could become law.
This bill actually died (failed) in a Senate Committee. But senators pulled some procedural sorcery to have it resurrected in another committee. Eventually it passed. And now the governor must sign it into law. Gov. Edwards vowed to promptly veto it.
What Your Legislators Were Up To This Session
HB646 makes it against state law for teachers to even acknowledge a transgender’s existence. According to the bill, teachers can no longer call students by the pronoun they identify with. Basically, if ya mama named you Hank, a teacher can no longer call you Halle. Rep.Dodie Horton (a — do I even have to say it?) sponsored the bill. On top of banning pronouns, the bill also bans any talk of transgenders in class or school grounds. It’s our version of Florida’s don’t say gay bill. Like HB648, Gov. Edwards vowed to promptly veto it.
Our Reps and Senators got together and passed a budget at the last minute. On paper they were fussing over what to do with the extra $2 billion the state found itself with. In reality, they may have been stalling so the details would not make news during the session. In an unintended ode to Nancy Pelosi, their stance was basically we have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.
But that’s another Think 504 article. But when they weren’t waging culture and racial wars, our Reps and Senators were doing other things like denying raises, for everybody — themselves, teachers, us citizens via taxes. Well actually, they couldn’t deal with taxes this session.
Next regular session taxes will be on the table. We’ll have a new governor. And that session will be his or hers first chance to lay down their agenda. Next up, though, is the race for governor. Expect the cultural and racial wars we just witnessed to continue. But at least you now know what your legislators were up to this session.