Bill that would punish local governments for defunding police falls short in Louisiana Senate
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A bid to give Louisiana lawmakers more power to penalize municipalities that too steeply cut their police departments stalled Friday in the Senate during the last minutes of the special session.
Republican Rep. Lance Harris, who is running for Congress in the Nov. 3 election, couldn’t overcome opposition from his fellow Alexandria legislator, Democratic Sen. Jay Luneau, on the final day of the session.
Luneau threatened to hold up the session’s adjournment by continuing to debate rather than allow a final Senate vote on Harris’ bill, which already had won passage in the House in a 68-29 vote Friday.
“I’m going to be here a long, long time, because I’ve got a lot to say,” Luneau said.
Rather than drag out the end of the session, supporters of Harris’ bill pulled it from consideration, keeping it from final passage.
The proposal would have required local governing authorities to notify the Legislature’s joint budget committee if they shrink funding for their police department or sheriff’s office by 25% or more. If the committee decided the financing cut would harm public safety, the municipality would be unable to receive state construction dollars or some sales tax dollars.
Harris said he was trying to protect public safety, though he acknowledged no municipality in Louisiana was proposing to “defund its police.” Still, he cited such debates in other states.
Democrats called it political posturing to help boost Harris’ congressional campaign, and they called it inappropriate meddling in local government affairs.
The bill is filed as House Bill 38.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Despite minor weather damage, new vaccine site opens in Baton Rouge
Power outages caused by Friday's early morning storm affect BR schools
Drainage issues concern BR residents who say they've never needed flood insurance...
Rainy, cooler conditions expected throughout the morning
Early morning storm rolls through BR, surrounding areas
'We have a plan': Coach O quiet on how Title IX scandal...
Southeastern regains sole possession of first place in Southland standings with win...
Max Johnson in the mix for LSU starting quarterback job
Coach O admits to mistakes, takes steps to correct them in the...
Saints QB Jameis Winston gets emotional discussing Drew Brees