Elective Sex Change Ban for minors (House Bill 1057) passes committee on a 8-5 vote

After being amended, House Bill 1057, the bill that bans doctors from performing elective sex change procedures on minors has been passed out of House State Affairs Committee on a vote of 8-5 on an amended basis.

If I caught it correctly, during the committee, the bill was amended down from a felony to a Class 1 misdemeanor crime, among other changes.

Stay tuned for more on this bill – including how people voted –  later today.

Rounds Votes in Favor of Fair, Impartial Impeachment Trial

Rounds Votes in Favor of Fair, Impartial Impeachment Trial
Resolution closely follows the rules unanimously agreed to during Clinton impeachment trial

WASHINGTON – Early this morning, U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) voted in favor of the organizing resolution that will guide the first phase of the impeachment trial in the Senate. The resolution, which passed 53-47, follows the fair and impartial guidelines used during President Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999.

 “I voted in favor of the organizing resolution outlining the next steps in the Senate impeachment trial, which closely follows past precedents and allows for a fair, impartial process.”

“The impeachment trial of a U.S. president – effectively determining whether to undo the will of the American electorate – is one of the most serious responsibilities of the United States Senate. Knowing the House of Representatives would be ‘impassioned’ and more likely to succumb to the whims of political theater, our Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be the ‘adults in the room.’ They trusted the Senate, requiring more solemn judgement, to have the final say on whether a House impeachment charge has the substantiality to rise to the level of removal from office.”

“Today, the House managers will begin their opening arguments. Then, the American people will have a chance to hear, for the first time throughout this process, the president’s side of the case. I take my responsibility during this period very seriously. I’m confident that the organizing resolution will allow us to do our due diligence, bring this process to a close in a timely manner, and get back to doing the work that the people of South Dakota sent me here to do.”


The resolution is broken down into three parts:

o   Opening arguments: Each side will be given up to 24 hours to present their case;

o   Q&A period: Senators will have the opportunity to ask questions, through the Chief Justice (up to 16 hours allotted);

o   Deciding on Next Steps: Following the Q&A period, the Senate will “consider whether…any additional evidence or witnesses are necessary to evaluate whether the House case has cleared, or failed to clear, the high bar for overcoming the presumption of innocence and undoing a democratic election.”[Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Floor, 1/21/2020]


Noem Marks 47th Anniversary of Roe v Wade Ruling, Proclaims January Sanctity of Human Life Month

Noem Marks 47th Anniversary of Roe v Wade Ruling, Proclaims January Sanctity of Human Life Month

PIERRE, S.D. – To mark the 47th anniversary since the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v Wade, Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed January as Sanctity of Human Life Month.

“Every life – born and unborn – has worth and dignity,” said Noem. “Without life, there is no liberty. Without liberty, there is no freedom to pursue happiness. I am absolutely committed to defending life, and I’m proud to proclaim January as Sanctity of Human Life Month.”

Noem’s proclamation encourages South Dakotans “to care for women with unexpected or unwanted pregnancies, to encourage responsible fatherhood, to affirm our state’s pro-life pregnancy centers, to support adoption and foster care, and to ensure that every child can be raised to live and to have the liberty to pursue their own happiness.”


SD AG Jason Ravnsborg joins 20 other SG’s in noting impeachment sends dangerous precedent

Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has a message for the members of the US Senate when it comes to impeachment – “It cannot be a legitimate basis to impeach a President for acting in a legal manner.”

State AG letter to Senate o… by Fox News on Scribd

According to FOX News:

“If not expressly repudiated by the Senate, the theories animating both Articles will set a precedent that is entirely contrary to the Framers’ design and ruinous to the most important governmental structure protections contained in our Constitution: the separation of powers,” they wrote.

The letter accuses House Democrats of impeaching Trump as a politically motivated response to the 2016 election and warned that it poses a threat to the 2020 election as well.

Read the entire story here.

What do you think?

Theresa Stehly back at the taxpayer trough, wanting millions for tree trimming program.

After Sioux Falls City Councilwoman Theresa Stehly wanted the city of Sioux Falls to handle all tornado cleanup so residents could sit at home and wait for government to be their savior, she’s back at the taxpayer trough again, wanting the City of Sioux Falls to trim all the boulevard trees in South Dakota’s largest city.

Despite the fact that Sioux Falls city staff have put a $2 million price tag on it for residents, just for starters:

Sioux Falls park operation manager Kelby Mieras said with about 12,000 properties in the yearly Project T.R.I.M. coverage area, the city would expect an annual cost of about $688,527 if property owners no longer had to do the work themselves.

And that doesn’t account for the additional equipment costs and staffing increases that would come with making the pilot project permanent, he said.

“It’d be about $1.2 million in upfront capital expenses,” he said. “This would include the equipment necessary to outfit two different crews and also a location to store the equipment because this is a year-round and something we’d have to do 12 months a year.”

Read the entire story here.

Interesting. Having lived in cities with and without an arbor department, let me explain the difference for residents.

When I lived in Pierre (without an Arbor department), a storm came through and knocked down the big pine tree on my boulevard, I got the chainsaw out of my shed, cut it up and took it to the dump.  I paid the local guy (a Highway patrolman in his day job) to come grind the stump.. I think that was $40-50. And then when I felt like it, I paid a local tree guy $40-50 to pull a new tree of my choosing in from his orchard, which I had to water and maintain to get it established.

Now living in Brookings, The city rolls through once every few years and trims my boulevard tree up to their specifications, darn near matching every single other tree of up and down my street. And I sold my old chainsaw.

What’s the difference between the two systems?  Not much. The trees in your yard are a maintenance item that go along with home ownership.  Either way, you pay government for it, or you have to pay for it yourself. But most of us would believe that paying government for it ultimately isn’t a great solution.

Why do we continually demand more government for things that should be our own responsibility?

Back in Pierre, you’ll note that you can find darn near any kind of tree under the sun on boulevards, adding character to properties, because at one time, that’s what the homeowner wanted to put up. Here in Brookings, if you look down a street, a tree is a tree, is a tree… all uniformly groomed, with the only difference being when they were planted, because that’s what the local government wanted to do.

I guess if you want turn over another freedom, and enjoy government telling you what to do and how to be, down to the tree you put on your boulevard, “Stehly solutions” are the way to go for Sioux Falls residents.

And they should keep that in mind when they get the tax bill for the privilege.

As I’d reported earlier, new LRC Bill system is just a debacle. Paper amendments, anyone?

As I’d written about on the 15th, the new legislative information system from the Legislative Research council is receiving a lot of unhappiness from Legislators and lobbyists.

The Argus Leader gets around to writing about it today, with examples of a committee meeting that was a broken down mess because no one could do anything, or even see who was proposing amendments to a measure:

“Are we working against people now, or are we working with people?” questioned Sen. Deb Soholt, R-Sioux Falls.

Soholt said she wasn’t comfortable passing an amendment that the bill sponsor couldn’t see. Sen. Jordan Youngberg, R-Madison, suggested they pass SB 22 without the amendments and then add the amendments when they consider the bill on the Senate floor to give the Department of Agriculture time to review the amendments. Soholt replied that that would be worse because then there would 35 confused senators instead of the nine senators on the committee.

Read it here.

Should the Legislative Research Council have worked these bugs out before session, as opposed to on the spot?  What a disaster.

I’d expect they’re a couple of more failed meetings away from having to switch back to a paper system.

Legislature prepares to strike back at plastic bag bans directed at attacking main street retailers.

This might be my favorite bill of the year:

Senate Bill 54

Sponsors:  Senators Wiik, Curd, Ewing, Greenfield(Brock), Maher, Monroe, Novstrup, Partridge, Stalzer, and Steinhauer and Representatives Post, Deutsch, Finck, Gross, Hunhoff, Koth, Mulally, Qualm, Rounds, Willadsen, York, and Zikmund

Section 1. That § 34A-6-92 be AMENDED:

34A-6-92. Beverage containers, garbage bags, and plastic packaging materials–Preemption–Specially designated garbage bags.

The provisions of chapter 34A-7 relating to beverage containers, garbage bags, and garbage can liners, auxiliary containers, and § 34A-6-68 relating to uniform recycling codes for plastic containers, shall preempt all laws by any other political subdivision of the state relating to auxiliary containers, beverage containers, garbage bags, straws used for beverage consumption, or plastic packaging materials. No other political subdivision of the state may enact any law restricting the use in commerce of plastic auxiliary containers, beverage containers, garbage bags, straws used for beverage consumption, or plastic packaging materials. Nothing in §§ 34A-6-59 to 34A-6-92, inclusive, may be construed to limit a political subdivision from allowing or requiring specially designated garbage bags for the purpose of identifying volume or type of waste or restricting the use of glass bottles and containers within park or recreation sites and facilities due to public safety concerns.

Read the entire measure here.

Led by Senator John Wiik in the Senate, and my own State Representative Doug Post in the House, the measure takes direct aim at municipalities overtaken by bouts of political correctness who are seeking to ban the use of plastic bags and straws (Such as Brookings who is currently debating taking plastic bags from about EVERY RETAILER & RESTAURANT ON MAIN STREET.)

Good for the legislature for standing up for retailers and small businesspeople.

(Bonus: Hey! LRC figured it out and we have HTML functionality back)

Watch for a busy week politically..

Now that we’re past last week’s speech activity, declaring “the state of..” the various institutions that legislators should be aware of, this week should prove to be a somewhat active one politically as things kick off in earnest. What are the things I’m watching for this week?

* What might be one of the session’s more controversial acts, House Bill 1057, which outlaws elective sex-change procedures on children is scheduled for hearing Wednesday morning in House State Affairs, and will likely give a preview of the tone of the measure’s proponents and opponents in weeks to come.

* Starting today, after returning to Pierre this last week, South Dakota Legislators are coming off of a big three day weekend. We may start to see the pace of legislative petition filings kick up a notch, as we confirm who is planning on campaign for another “bite at the apple.”

Keep an eye out  – it’s going to get busy!