Senate votes to overturn veto of transgender sports ban

Louisiana state senators narrowly voted to overturn Gov. John Bel Edwards’ rejection of a bill prohibiting transgender students from participating in school sports, on the opening day of the first veto session under the state’s nearly 50-year-old constitution.

But senators blocked efforts to override a separate measure that would remove the permitting requirements, background check and safety training required to have a concealed handgun in Louisiana, with a handful of Republicans changing their mind on the legislation. It would be difficult for the Senate to overturn any other Edwards vetoes after one GOP senator, Pat Connick of Jefferson Parish, said he wouldn’t support any additional overrides, giving senators too few Republican votes on their own.

Senators voted 26-12 for the transgender sports ban veto override—the exact number of votes needed. The vote fell along party lines, with Republicans in support of the measure and Democrats in opposition. The debate now shifts to the House, where Republicans will need to pick up some backing from Democrats and independents to overturn the veto and enact the ban into law.

The transgender sports ban was the driving force behind the majority-Republican House and Senate decision to return to the Louisiana Capitol. But they could also consider the other measures that Edwards rejected, such as his removal of specific projects from budget bills, or legislation that sought to ban coronavirus vaccine mandates, mandated regular audits of elections and requirements that local school systems publish their finances in the Louisiana Checkbook online site. 

While convening the session required only majority support, a two-thirds vote is required to successfully override a gubernatorial veto. Read the full story.