BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Gov. John Bel Edwards defends his decision to return Louisiana to Phase Two of COVID-19 reopening, citing a spike in virus case counts, deaths, and hospitalizations.
But the same state conservative critics who have questioned the Democratic governor’s use of executive power are sounding familiar horns against his latest move, arguing it will hurt profits at local businesses.
“The Legislature never intended to give up their powers to any governor unchecked,” state House Republican caucus chairman Rep. Blake Miguez wrote on Twitter shortly after Edwards’ Phase Two announcement.
“In this system, the governor has the final say,” said John Kay, vice president of advocacy for the conservative Pelican Institute. “There are no checks and balances, and that’s unfortunate.”
“The people across Louisiana deserve to have their voices heard, and their voices are best heard through their representatives and senators,” Kay added.
The Republican-led Legislature’s efforts to wrangle Edwards’ executive controls have failed in court, though similar attempts could resurface.
Edwards maintains the Phase Two rules don’t prevent Louisianians from supporting businesses in the state, so long as customers wear masks and stay six feet apart whenever possible.
“We’re doing our very best to strike the right balance between lives on the one hand and livelihoods on the other,” the governor said.