While Gov. Bobby Jindal won the last round in the battles of the 2013 Legislature, significant numbers of lawmakers indicated that they weren’t happy with all the results of this year’s session.
The 1974 Louisiana Constitution mandates a veto session to be held once the governor has signed or vetoed legislation. A veto session has never been held, because most legislators have voted by mail not to have one.
This year, there won’t be a veto session either — but it’s not because of lack of dissatisfaction with the governor’s vetoes.
A majority of the state House refused to return their mail ballots. But since a majority of senators did, and the approval of both houses is necessary, a veto session will not be held.
The significant numbers of legislators who favored holding the session reflects not only unhappiness with specific vetoes. Among other things, lawmakers were critical of the governor’s decision to block additional aid to families of the disabled.
But the lawmakers who put it on record that they favored a veto session were also sending a more general message about the unhappiness with the Jindal administration. Particularly in the House, an alliance of Democrats and some Republicans unhappy with Jindal spending policies has developed, and the ballots for the veto session allowed them to make their point again.
The governor and House leadership should be listening.