Late Monday afternoon, Gov. John Bel Edwards responded to lawmakers’ call for a special session.
He released the following statement:
“At a time when our state is dealing with the COVID-19 health emergency, hurricanes, and one severe weather event after another, I am concerned that the Legislature has again called themselves into a month-long session with an agenda of 70 items. This session will occur at a time when the public will again be restricted in their access to the State Capitol and their ability to give needed public input.
“From the beginning of this emergency, I have relied on public health experts and the White House Coronavirus Task Force to guide Louisiana’s response to this historic emergency. Further, this response has been in line with the measures taken by our neighboring states that have unfortunately also been enormously impacted by COVID-19.
“Put simply, the measures we have taken in Louisiana are working and we are making significant progress. However, to abandon these efforts in defiance of the unanimous advice of the public health experts and the Trump administration would seriously jeopardize the lives of our people and the gains we have made. Further, it is important to remember our work in containing COVID-19 is far from done, as Louisiana still has the highest number of per capita infections in the country.
“I am hopeful that the Legislative leadership will significantly narrow the scope and the duration of this session so that they can do the work they deem necessary, while at the same time working in a bipartisan and cooperative manner to address our significant challenges in an honest and transparent manner. Louisianans have come too far to have all of our effective and life-saving work upended.”