Legislature wraps up 2022 regular session

Gov. John Bel Edwards held a press conference Monday shortly after the Legislature concluded its 2022 regular session. (Photo by Alex Tirado/ LSU Manship School News Service)

BATON ROUGE — As the Legislature adjourned Monday, Gov. John Bel Edwards expressed his support for the investments in education and infrastructure, including a teacher pay raise of $1,500 and $300 million toward a new Mississippi River bridge.

But he also announced that he would acquiesce in one area that he has disagreed with Republican lawmakers saying he would allow a bill that prohibits transgender athletes from competing according to their gender identity to become law without his signature.

Edwards vetoed a similar measure last year, but he said that he decided not to veto the latest ban, Senate Bill 44, sponsored by state Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, because he knew that the Legislature could override the veto this time.

“I hope we can all get to a point soon where we realize that these young people are doing the very best that they can to survive,” Edwards said.

As the session’s 6 p.m. deadline approached, legislators spent the day debating, rewriting, and passing some of the remaining bills.

Among the high-profile bills to be adopted was House Bill 746, sponsored by state Rep. Royce Duplessis, D-New Orleans.

The bill would prohibit the use of solitary confinement for juvenile offenders except as a temporary response for behavior that poses a physical threat to another’s safety.

The bill as reported by a conference committee with members from both chambers was approved by the House on an 84-11 vote and the Senate 32-0.