Senate rejects solution in search of a problem, kills SB69. But, Nelson also advocating for year-round session?

From Facebook, the SDGOP captures Senator Stace Nelson… looking much like Grumpy Cat as his measure SB69 to turn morning legislative meetings into afternoon meetings met a swift and decisive end in Senate State Affairs.

One thing not in the bill I had someone send me a note about was even more concerning..

Stace, while answering a Bolin question in Senate State Affairs on his bill (SB69), just advocated for a year-round legislative session (one month at a time, spread out over the whole year).

I think Washington, DC made a similar move. Seems to be working well for them.

I’ll get the audio pulled for that, but is there anyone in South Dakota who wants the legislature to meet year round? (Besides Stace, that is.)

28 Replies to “Senate rejects solution in search of a problem, kills SB69. But, Nelson also advocating for year-round session?”

  1. Gideon Oakes

    Why would anybody oppose this? It makes sense to anyone who’s ever gotten up at 2:30am to drive to Pierre for a 7am committee meeting.

    Reply
    1. JKC

      Good point! But what I don’t understand is why a conservative would want year around sessions, which means more bills and more laws…. Oh, I can see the postcards now for 2020.

      Reply
    2. Anne Beal

      This seems to be a Mountain Standard Time problem. When you live in the western part of the state, an 8 AM meeting starts at 7 AM.
      The sensible thing for a person traveling that far, from that time zone, is to drive to Pierre the night before and stay over. If a matter is important enough for you to make the trip as opposed to listening to it on SDPB, this is the solution that makes sense. Getting up at 2:30 AM to drive to Pierre doesn’t make any sense, but neither does driving home in the middle of the night and going to bed at 2:30 AM. Either way it’s a long day without enough daylight. Rearranging the schedule isn’t going to increase the number of daylight hours in January.
      What observation does make sense came from the senators who pointed out they do their best work in the morning and they have trouble staying awake in the afternoon.

      Reply
      1. Gideon Oakes

        Anne – Not all of us have the means to just “stay over” the night before. It’s sacrifice enough to spend the gas to get halfway across the state, not to mention taking the day off from work. Add on the cost of a hotel room and suddenly having your voice heard in government is a venture suited only to the wealthy.

        Besides, “Doing their best work in the morning” is a weak excuse at best. Are we serving them, or are they serving us? They should be accessible when We the People need them to be available, not when they’re most “comfy”. And if they just can’t stay awake in the afternoons, maybe it’s time to get some younger blood into office. Or slip some 5-Hour Energy into their morning Metamucil… I dunno.

        Reply
        1. Anne Beal

          You should have the means to listen to the webcast and phone in your testimony. It works for lots of people. You don’t need to be there in person. You can listen to the webcast and if you are not scheduled to testify you can email your comments to the members of the committee while they are sitting there. They keep their devices up and can read their mail in real time you know.

          You are making the process of hearing your voice heard way more complicated than it needs to be.

          Reply
          1. Gideon Oakes

            Not talking about legislators. Talking about citizens who want to testify or speak at committee meetings (most of which currently start early in the morning).

            Reply
            1. Anne Beal

              Gideon I think you are missing the point of representative government. We have elected representatives so that we don’t have to go there. Your representative is your voice.

              Reply
              1. Anonymous

                Your voice is your voice, too. Voting for someone doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the opportunity to be heard.

                Reply
                1. Anne Beal

                  Anonymous at 10:07: You do have the opportunity to be heard. You just have to show up. The world is run by the people who show up. It is not run by the people who make excuses for why they didn’t show up.

                  Reply
                  1. Gideon Oakes

                    You can’t say “The world is run by people who show up” and then schedule things so the average person can’t show up. That’s just being elitist. I don’t see eye to eye with Stace on everything, but he is absolutely spot on with this one. In the meantime, I will continue to haul my big butt out of bed at the buttcrack of midnight (or waste money on a hotel room) to show up when I feel it’s warranted. Our voice sometimes needs some help finding itself.

                    Reply
                    1. Anne Beal

                      That’s good. Just remember the deer don’t care if you are driving east or west, just before dawn or just after sundown. It’s all the same to them; they just want to kill you.

    1. William Beal

      We’ve got a long “commute” to Pierre, as well. With morning meetings, the choice is either drive up early or stay overnight. With afternoon meetings, the choice would be drive home late, or stay overnight.

      The length of the trip doesn’t change.

      Reply
  2. Anon

    I agree with Mr. Oakes. This isn’t necessarily a bad idea and something that has been discussed in the past.

    The longer or year long session is ridiculous. Keep it short and get your work done quickly. Then don’t be in session the rest of the year for all the crazy ideas to creep up.

    Reply
  3. Senator Stace Nelson

    Moses.. Get your facts straight Powers, and ease up on the fake news. I stated I was in favor of breaking up the 3 months of session instead of having them all at the first of the year. Sure the heck didn’t advocate for these tax and spenders to be in session year long.

    Reply
  4. Charlie Hoffman

    The stalwart of smaller less intrusive government ( SENATOR STACEY NELSON) just asked for your vote on year round big government mimicking DC politics after putting out dozens of scorecards chastising anyone pushing a similar narrative. Stace you need to stop flipping sides from Liberal to Progressive to just plain dumb.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Amen to that! Spot on. You just missed the $$ in his pockets. Which don’t forget the bill to increase the legislator’s salaries last year which he voted against to score higher on the ACU scorecard, knowing full well it was going to pass. POS…

      Reply
  5. Troy Jones

    One negative is for students. They leave in the morning, eat the sack lunches they brought, watch session, and go home.

    I’ve been told more than once chaperone/advisors don’t like getting there early enough for Leg. Meetings because they can’t keep track of their charges.

    Reply
    1. Charlie Hoffman

      Sounds like a truly great problem to have in our fantastic SD Capitol!!! Regardless of who you may be!!!

      Could be a Marketing slogan: “Visit South Dakota’s Capitol and lose yourself in our History!”

      Reply
  6. Anonymous

    The only problem? That’s not what he said. He said break up the three months and spread those out, not go full time year round.

    Reply
    1. William Beal

      I think that’s easier said, than done. I don’t believe it would be possible to pass the annual budget until all legislative work is completed for the legislative session. The Fiscal year runs from July 1 thru June 30 of the next calendar year.

      It could also reduce the pool of people able and willing to serve in the Legislature, as they would not be able to leave their jobs or businesses for extended periods at different times of the year.

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      Because he doesn’t feel relevant the other 10 months of the year? I’d be for 8 weeks + 2 weeks (or something similar) but with the same pay. Would he be OK with the same pay? Was that commented on or outlined?

      Reply
  7. Troy Jones

    While there are good reasons* to keep it as it is, proposals like this should on occasion be entertained because sometimes they can lead to discussion that does lead to improvements. The argument “we’ve always done it that way” is not as compelling as “there is a reason it is the tried and true because it has been tried and is true.” My point is there is nothing wrong to assess if something is still true in a changed world.

    *Reasons I think we should stay the same (not in an particular order):

    1) Encourage student participation. We have bills in the legislature to stimulate civics knowledge in our high school and college classrooms. Let’s not forget real life observation can be just as valuable (picture paints a thousand words).

    2) Budget Completion: Currently the Budget is passed in mid-March, agencies begin a review of the impact of the new budget to their Department which gets done in May, and they then have until July 1 to begin implementing. Anybody who cares about good fiscal management does not want to shorten this period.

    3) Allows session to go as long or as short as needed. If you switched, session could run into committee meetings to which people have traveled.

    Reply
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