METAIRIE, LA – In a historic move, the Louisiana Legislature has called itself into session to consider overriding 28 bills recently vetoed by Governor Edwards. Two of those bills were vetoed in favor of special interest groups, and quite frankly, need to be put into law. The override session will begin July 20, 2021. Please contact your local legislator and let them know that we support them with the overrides of the bills as outlined below!
Attorney Advertising – SB 43 by Senator Barrow Peacock, R- Bossier City
This bill, which would have limited misleading advertising practices and solicitations for legal services, has been vetoed by Gov. Edwards. It would not have regulated attorneys – only advertisements specifically soliciting people to allege an injury from an FDA-approved prescription drug or medical device. Such advertisements would not be banned but would be required to include a verbal and printed statement: “Consult your physician before making decisions regarding prescribed medication or medical treatment.” Sen. Peacock negotiated throughout the legislative process to pass the bill and still managed to maintain its original intent. It passed both chambers by a super majority vote.
Our partners at the Louisiana Coalition for Common Sense commented: Gov. Edwards, in his veto message, claimed the bill is “likely unconstitutional in that it vests regulation of attorney advertising with the legislature and the attorney general rather than the Louisiana Supreme Court.” A similar bill was vetoed last year, and it appears Gov. Edwards recycled his message even though the previously vetoed bill, SB 395 by Sen. Heather Cloud, R-Turkey Creek, included significant portions relative to the attorney general that SB 43 did not. In fact, a safe harbor was included in Sen. Peacock’s legislation for lawyers who comply with the requirement to have their advertisements reviewed by the Louisiana State Bar Association. If the advertisement was reviewed as required, the Louisiana lawyer cannot be pursued under consumer protection law.
School Board Transparency – HB 38 by Representative Rick Edmonds, R- Baton Rouge
While we have much faith and confidence in our Jefferson Parish School Board and administration, we know that they agree that transparency is always good. This bill would have simply brought transparency to how schools are spending our tax dollars.
Our partners at the Pelican Institute commented: We are disappointed that Governor Edwards would veto this good-government transparency legislation. Louisiana outspends most of our neighbors per student while achieving among the lowest educational outcomes in the nation. The first step to turning around outcomes is by showing how school districts are spending taxpayer dollars, especially as hundreds of millions of federal bailout dollars flood into school board coffers. Now, instead of including school districts in the Louisiana Checkbook, their finances will remain in the dark.
The legislature agreed that Louisiana’s kids deserve a system that does not hide its finances from taxpayers, but thanks to the veto pen of Governor Edwards, that information will stay in the shadows. Unfortunately, the Louisiana School Boards Association (LSBA) made their opposition clear; one wonders why they do not want Louisiana citizens knowing how they are spending their tax dollars. Districts are set to receive $3.9 billion in state MFP dollars this year along with hundreds of millions from the federal government, and it is perplexing to imagine why common-sense transparency – the same standards that apply to state government – would not be embraced by everyone, especially school board members.
About the Jefferson Chamber:
The Jefferson Chamber is a leading voice for Jefferson Parish’s business community. As a non-profit, membership-driven organization, the Chamber is an effective advocate for small and large businesses at the local, state and federal levels. The Chamber’s mission is to work for the advancement of the business community; to enhance the economic, civic and cultural environment; and to improve the quality of life in Jefferson Parish. The Jefferson Chamber is Five-Star Accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was awarded the 2013, 2015, and 2019 Chamber of the Year Award by the Louisiana Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives in the Large Chamber Category.