Louisiana’s GOP-dominated Legislature concludes three-month-long regular Session

Louisiana lawmakers adjourned the 2024 Legislative Session on Monday, a three-month-long gathering of the GOP-controlled body marked by the passage of a slew of conservative policies that could reshape various aspects of the state.

The regular session was the first under Republican Gov. Jeff Landry, marking a new era of conservative leadership in Louisiana. In January, Landry replaced Democrat John Bel Edwards, who served as Governor for eight years. Edwards was the only Democratic Governor in the Deep South during his two terms.

The GOP holds a supermajority in the Legislature, enabling lawmakers to push conservative priorities. Policies passed this Session included a package of anti-LGBTQ+ billsmigrant enforcement measures, a requirement that the Ten Commandments be displayed in public classrooms and a law that reclassifies two abortion-inducing drugs as controlled dangerous substances.

Lawmakers approved a $48 billion budget that includes a $2,000 stipend for teachers and funding for criminal justice needs. That follows a Special Session in February during which lawmakers passed several tough-on-crime measures.

Lawmakers also cut about $9 million from early childhood education programs, The Advocate reported. As a result, opponents of the decrease say that about 800 infants and toddlers could lose access to daycare.

Legislation that received bipartisan approval this Session included measures to address Louisiana’s property insurance crisis as residents struggle to pay skyrocketing rates.

One measure that failed to receive enough support was a call for a constitutional convention. The convention, requested by Landry, would allow lawmakers and delegates chosen by the governor to revise the state’s 50-year-old constitution. Landry described the document as “bloated, outdated, antiquated, and much abused” at the start of the session. According to his office, more than 200 amendments have been added to the constitution since 1974.

Opponents of calling a convention feared that the process was occurring too quickly and argued that there was a lack of transparency on what exactly would change. The bill for a convention ultimately died.

Landry described the regular session Monday as a “great success.” In addition to the Special Session to address Louisiana’s high crime rate, he called another to redraw the state’s congressional map to include a second majority-Black district.

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Republished with permission from The Associated Press.




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