Governor Jeff Landry just went full Diana Ross on us. Trust me on this. I’ll explain in a minute.

But, first things first, the legislative session ends today. You should be relieved, or experiencing any feeling an adjective synonymous with suffering through a great ordeal can describe. So much happened. So much is set to change. Like our state constitution. Like how you and a police officer determine what is exactly 25ft. Or like how your water bill is calculated, or if in the future there is such a thing as public schools.

Back to Landry and Diana Ross for a minute. Once elected, Landry came through like a boss. He made it clear that the state was his house. He is living here as he sees fit. That means much change is about to take place. Changes from the drapes to the laws that form the foundation we all follow.

Gov Landry used a special session on crime to strengthen police and turn prison into an easy way in but no way out prospect, Landry also focused on turning the governor’s office into a dictatorship. That’s what this legislative session was mostly about. It aimed to consolidate power and limit accountability.

Landry attempted to end public records requests for the governor’s office. What was done in the dark would stay there. Citizens and media could only guess about whom he met, where he met them or what any of those meetings were all about. Luckily, all but one of those bills failed so far.

Still on deck, is another dance with dictatorship. This bill, SB497, gives Landry more power over who sits on the state ethics board. The ethics board is supposed to be an independent board that acts like a watchdog. But if SB497 passes, it becomes a lapdog that Landry can tell when to sit, roll over, fetch, or play dead.

If not for the Senate dragging its feet, a constitutional convention would already be on the calendar. Instead, senators are reportedly pushing some convoluted scenario where a select committee goes over the constitution. The committee then dictates what changes legislators and delegates can consider. This is being billed as an act of defiance. Instead, it sounds like the important deliberations that normally take place publicly at a convention will now happen behind the scenes.

Whether you like Landry or not, you must be impressed. In his first few months as governor he has either dictated fundamental changes through special sessions or set a tone of governance through attempts to make changes this legislative session. Along the way, he established control over the House, while almost bending the Senate. That’s not a bad first day on the job, metaphorically speaking. Just wait until he settles in and figures out how to use finesse as opposed to the bulldozer he depended on for these past months.

But that’s next year’s problems. After today, take a breath, assess the damage, and regroup. Just know that this is only the beginning, not the worst that is set to come.

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