Health contracts approved with LGBT-rights language stripped
BATON ROUGE - A stalemate over contracts to provide health insurance next year for 10,000 state employees, retirees and family members has ended.
House lawmakers had stalled the contracts because they objected to having language from Gov. John Bel Edwards' LGBT-rights protection order included in the deals.
A judge declared that order unconstitutional Wednesday, so the Edwards administration stripped the language from the contracts. The House and Senate budget committees approved the reworked arrangements without objection Thursday.
Without approved contracts, health plans that cover thousands of people could have ended Jan. 1.
Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry filed a lawsuit challenging the Democratic governor's executive order as an unconstitutional overreach of Edwards' authority. A judge agreed. The order had prohibited discrimination in government and state contracts based on sexual orientation and gender identity.