BATON ROUGE – Democratic lawmakers in the Louisiana House today stood united against a Republican power-grab that sought to override the will of local governments and municipalities. Seven members sitting on the House Committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs stood united to protect the freedoms of local municipal officials to make decisions affecting their local communities.
Reps. Pat Smith, Barbara Norton, Cedric Glover and Denise Marcelle led the effort to push back against state usurpation of local decision-making. The House bill under consideration, sponsored by Rep. Thomas Carmody of Shreveport, sought to override local decision-making by imposing the will of state lawmakers on city governments. Similar legislation in the state senate, sponsored by Sen. Beth Mizell of Franklinton, failed in committee last week. Both measures sought to intervene in local efforts to remove Confederate monuments by imposing new state regulations. Carmody has gone so far as to hint at considering a parliamentary maneuver to circumvent the normal process.
“We are proud of the Democratic lawmakers who stood up for local government today, and stood against the latest attempt at a power grab by Republicans trying to rewrite the rules,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Republican lawmakers were quick to abandon their principles and try to overrule local decision making when things didn’t go their way. I’m glad our members were there today to speak with one voice, and to insist on the freedom of small, local government.”