Louisiana state Sen. Karen Peterson (D) slammed Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) for issuing an executive order "to accomplish the intent" of a religious freedom bill that died in the Louisiana House.
Jindal vowed Tuesday to take action on the issue. Peterson criticized Jindal earlier this week for prioritizing the religious freedom legislation over others dealing with the state budget, and said his action seems to be an attempt to "destroy Louisiana's business climate."
"It's a cynical attempt to deflect from the failures of what should be the top legislative priority, what we're dealing with every day, which is a broken state budget," Peterson said.
Peterson went on to blast Jindal for running ads in Iowa rather than talking with Louisiana lawmakers:
Today it's okay to just ignore the House and the clear rejection of something that's just not good for our state. He didn't even have the courage to testify before the House, but he wants to roll out a press release saying what he's going to do through executive action. But guess what he did have time to do? To start running a commercial, not here in New Orleans, or Baton Rouge, or Monroe -- he ran a commercial on religious freedom in Iowa. Are you kidding me? Why don't you roll some commercials out on how to fix this nightmare that you've created right here in Louisiana? This is ridiculous. Iowa?
Peterson also called Jindal out for criticizing executive orders at the federal level. Her criticism mirrored remarks state Rep. John Bel Edwards (D) made earlier this week.
"We've heard Gov. Jindal complain about with respect to President Obama that he uses executive orders to do things that he can't get Congress to do ... I would suggest to you that the governor Jindal has done exactly the same thing here," Edwards said.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal speaks to guests gathered for the Republican Party of Iowa's Lincoln Dinner at the Iowa Events Center on May 16, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Jindal responded to that criticism Thursday.
"If he's issuing executive orders consistent with law and constitution, I've got no problem with that," Jindal said, according to The Times-Picayune. "That's part of his prerogative.
"My problem with the president's executive orders is [when] they violate the constitution," Jindal added. "I'm issuing an executive order to uphold the constitution. It's a reaffirmation of our First Amendment liberty rights."
Watch Peterson give her remarks on the Louisiana senate floor above.
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