Senators stall bill prohibiting emergency rules on churches


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — State senators have narrowly shelved a proposal to keep Louisiana’s emergency orders from governing churches. A Senate judiciary committee voted 3-2 Wednesday to kill the House-backed bill by Republican Rep. Danny McCormick. It would have prohibited government agencies or officials from being able to fine, penalize or prosecute anyone who attends or conducts a church service during a publicly declared emergency. The measure sought to apply its provisions to any actions pending when the bill became law. The move was aimed at disrupting the prosecution of Baton Rouge area minister Tony Spell for violating Gov. John Bel Edwards’ prior ban on large gatherings.