Gov. Bobby Jindal issued three vetoes Tuesday night, taking aim at legislation involving video poker.
The governor nixed bills that the Louisiana Family Forum opposed on the grounds they would deregulate video poker.
The Louisiana Family Forum characterizes itself as a voice for traditional families.
“We believe gambling hurts Louisiana families and that the associated social costs far outweigh the financial benefit that state and local governments gain from the industry,” the Louisiana Family Forum wrote in a letter to the governor.
The organization also provided supporters with the email address for the governor’s chief of staff, Stephen Waguespack, to aid them in petitioning for the vetoes.
Jindal now has vetoed four bills from the 2012 legislative session.
He also announced Tuesday signing House Bill 61, creating a 401(k)-type pension plan for future state employees, and two business tax breaks.
HB61 was one of the few retirement bills from the governor’s legislative package to make it to his desk.
Jindal also announced signing 92 bills late Tuesday bringing the total number of measures signed to 556, according to a press release.
Among the legislation on Tuesday’s announcement was House Bill 937, which would offer a rebate for corporate headquarter moving expenses, and House Bill 958, which would expand a payroll rebate for certain new jobs.
All of the bills Jindal vetoed Tuesday originated in the state Senate.
- Senate Bill 363 by state Sen. Danny Martiny, R-Metairie, to allow the Louisiana Gaming Control Board to consider extenuating circumstances before revoking or suspending a video poker license. The governor said the change would make revocations nonmandatory.
- Senate Bill 365, also by Martiny, to change a state law that ties the number of video poker devices truck stops are allowed to have to the amount of fuel they sell. Martiny’s bill would have allowed truck stops to keep the same number of devices with lower fuel sales after five years. Jindal said the bill would lessen standards. The Louisiana Family Forum characterized it as a deregulation of the industry.
- Senate Bill 362 by state Sen. J. P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, to give more flexibility to Orleans Parish truck stops in closing their restaurants while still allowing their patrons to play video poker. The governor said the legislation would weaken existing safeguards. The Louisiana Family Forum said the bill could lead to transforming truck stops into stand-alone casinos.
Martiny said Tuesday night he respects the governor’s decision. “I wish I had been consulted before he did it. I don’t think we’re lowering any standards,” he said.
Morrell did not return a call seeking comment.
The three measures were sent to the governor on June 1 after passing through both chambers on overwhelming votes.
SB363 and SB362 passed through the Senate twice without a negative vote. SB365 won on a vote of 28-5. The House had more “no” votes on the three measures but each bill passed with several votes above a majority.