BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The Louisiana Legislature is trying to take some power away from the governor with a bill that would allow lawmakers to vote to end an emergency declaration.
Rep. Larry Frieman’s bill would allow the House and Senate to vote to end parts of an emergency order. This comes after many shared their frustrations with the limitations that came with the public health orders during the pandemic.
“In the future, if this happens again we just want to make sure that the decisions that are being made are correct and that there is a way to check and balance those decisions by the legislative branch,” said Rep. Frieman.
A similar bill was vetoed by the governor last year. Some raised an issue with that bill for fear of losing out on federal funding if they were to repeal an entire emergency order.
Frieman altered the language of the bill this time around so the vote would repeal only parts of an emergency order, like a mask mandate for example. This would prevent the loss of any federal funding. Frieman hopes with focusing the language in the bill to repeal parts of an emergency order will make it more likely to be voted on again.
Part of why the governor has the ability to make the emergency orders is due to it being delegated to him by the legislature. Some believe the legislature would not be able to convene in a timely manner to make such a vote in an emergency situation.
Rep. Frieman said it is all about checks and balances of the three branches of government.
An amendment by Rep. John Stefanski changed it so it would take a vote of both the House and the Senate to undo an order, instead of just one that was outlined in the bill. If passed, the bill would not take effect until 2024 so it would not affect the current administration.
The bill passed out of committee and heads to the full House.