Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards gives his annual end-of-year press conference at the Governor’s Mansion Credit: Piper Hutchinson/Louisiana Illuminator

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced at his annual end-of-year press conference Monday (Dec. 19) that he will ask legislators to add exceptions for rape and incest to Louisiana’s abortion ban. 

Edwards said that while there have been some hiccups, when people were denied abortion access in Louisiana when they probably shouldn’t have been, the post-Roe transition has been relatively smooth. 

“I continue to believe that we should have an exception for rape and incest,” Edwards said. “So that’s something that we’ll ask the legislature to put in place in statute when the session starts in April.” 

Edwards has previously signed abortion restrictions into law that did not have exceptions for rape or incest. 

The governor also confirmed he does not believe a special session is necessary to fund the state’s incentive program to lure more insurers to the state. Instead, the money can be easily appropriated at the start of the regular session, he said 

At Thursday’s meeting of the Revenue Estimating Committee, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon asked for a special session to be convened, but neither lawmakers nor the governor have expressed support. 

“Obviously this is a crisis situation,” Edwards said. “We’re gonna have to do something and we look forward to working with him, but I don’t see a special session to do this.” 

Edwards also raised concerns with state Rep. Richard Nelson’s, R-Mandeville, plan to eliminate the state income tax

“The challenge I have is immediately people talk about getting rid of the income tax but they’re not talking about the funding necessary to replace it,” Edwards said. 

Nelson has suggested the state eliminate many of its industrial tax exemptions to help make up for the lost income tax.

“I don’t believe that that’s going to happen this year because I don’t see a balanced approach to it,” Edwards said. 

The governor also said he intends to appear before a legislative committee investigating an alleged State Police cover-up in the May 2019 death of Black motorist Ronald Greene at the hands of white law enforcement officers if requested. Four state troopers and a Union Parish sheriff’s deputy were indicted Thursday in connection to Greene’s death. Edwards was scheduled to appear before the committee last month but had a scheduling conflict.

This article first appeared on Louisiana Illuminator and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Louisiana Illuminator is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Louisiana Illuminator maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Greg LaRose for questions: info@lailluminator.com. Follow Louisiana Illuminator on Facebook and Twitter.

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Piper Hutchinson | Louisiana Illuminator

Piper Hutchinson is a reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator. She has covered the Legislature and state government extensively for the LSU Manship News Service and The Reveille, where she was named editor...