Legislative Session Kicks Off in Baton Rouge
The Louisiana Legislature is opening a regular session that seems more like those of pre-pandemic times. Debates are planned on taxes, sports betting, transgender rights and other issues far beyond the coronavirus’ aftermath. Lawmakers will haggle over some COVID-19 topics, such as whether to curb the governor’s emergency response authority and possible bans on vaccination mandates. They’ll also try to decide how to divvy up more than $3 billion in new federal coronavirus aid heading to Louisiana. But the agenda for the two-month gathering that begins Monday is broad. Lawmakers who saw session plans last year disrupted by the pandemic have a long list of bills they want to debate.