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Note: Any comments made in this opinion column are those of the writer and not necessarily the views of St. Landry Now.

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Dear Senators,

I live in Broussard and am retired after practicing law in the Lafayette / Opelousas area for 26 years.

This past Tuesday, May 24th, HB 248 (regarding La. R.S. 1:55, Legal Holidays) was reported favorably out of Senate Judiciary A Committee by a vote of 4-2. I attended the hearing and spoke in opposition to the bill.  Representative Willard attended and spoke in favor of the bill which will strike Confederate Memorial Day from La. R.S. 1:55.  (Please see highlighted portions on page 1 and page 4 of the attached file).

At this point in the legislative process, please try to keep HB 248 alive but postpone a vote of the full Senate until more information can be obtained.  

At this time HB 248 does not have a rational basis in fact. 

Therefore, it is important to know: 

  1. Who or what Confederate Memorial Day memorializes. 
  2. When it was added to La. R.S. 1:55. 
  3. And most importantly, why it was added to La. R.S. 1:55. 

At the Committee Hearing on Tuesday the statements made in favor of the bill were opinion, conjecture, and allegations unsupported by any evidence.  So, with reference to 1, 2, and 3, above, I submit that the legislative history of the holiday should be consulted in order to make an informed decision on HB 248.

If the legislative history shows that the holiday was intended to glorify slavery, white supremacy, and/or racism, then I think it should be stricken from the list of legal holidays. 

If the legislative history shows that the holiday was adopted to memorialize deceased soldiers then the holiday should remain as is.

Please vote to postpone a floor vote on HB 248 while keeping it alive so it can be reconsidered in light of its legislative history.

Thank you for your consideration.  

Respectfully,

Robert Voitier, Jr.  

BSPP University of Notre Dame 1970; J.D. LSU Law Center 1988

205 Rue de Frejus – Broussard, LA 70518

(337) 945-7054 – mrv1948@gmail.com