- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Lawmakers narrowly refused a proposal Tuesday that would have required the Louisiana Legislature to come into a veto session when a governor rejects bills.

The House and Governmental Affairs Committee voted 4-3 against the proposal (House Bill 31) by Rep. Jerome “Dee” Richard, an independent from Thibodaux.

Lawmakers have never held a veto session since the modern constitution was enacted more than 40 years ago. The Legislature can cancel the override session with a majority vote of either the House or Senate.

Richard’s bill would have taken away the ability for lawmakers to scrap the veto session. Because it was a constitutional amendment, it would have required voter approval.

“It’s time that we start taking back the legislative branch of government,” Richard said.

Committee Chairman Tim Burns said he was concerned the session would be mandatory, and he was the tiebreaker vote to kill the bill.

After losing on that measure, Richard voluntarily shelved a bill to remove the governor’s ability to line-item veto spending in the budget.

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Small batch distilleries that serve food along with liquor made in-house would be allowed across Louisiana under a bill that received wide support in the House on Tuesday.

The measure, sponsored by Bryan Adams, R-Gretna, passed on a 95-0 vote and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Similar in concept to a brew pub, each micro-distiller would be allowed to make up to 12,000 gallons of liquor a year.

Booze could be served at the distillery or sold for private consumption elsewhere. In order to get a license, an applicant would have to get approval from the state fire marshal and could not owe back-taxes.

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In other legislative action:

-The House Education Committee refused to add more restrictions to the state education board’s ability to create new charter schools. The panel voted 10-6 against a proposal (House Bill 21) by Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite, that would have prohibited the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from starting a new charter school in a school district graded with an A or B that already had denied the charter school application.

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Online:

Louisiana Legislature: www.legis.la.gov

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