So, how many floor votes did Taffy Howard skip during the 2022 session? About 14%, according to my calculations

Where’s Taffy? Away from her desk 14% of the time.

About a week ago I had a note from a legislator in the State Legislature who was noticing that when it came to voting on bills on the floor of the State House of Representatives, State Representative and Congressional wannabe Taffy Howard seemed to be more and more absent. As was noted to me “she is here today but seems to be nowhere to be found on occasion, specifically whenever we are voting on BOR issues.”

I’d also heard talk that she’d duck out to go do fundraising, etc. in connection with her Congressional campaign.

Reading that and having heard those rumors, I thought it would be an interesting research project to figure out if that was just a fleeting and possibly unfair impression from the other residents of the State Capitol. Or if she was just not there when she was supposed to be.

And here’s what I found. According to House Journals, out of about 377 recorded roll count votes in the State House of Representatives, there were 53 votes where Taffy was marked as “Excused.” Calculating it out, Taffy Howard missed 14% of the floor votes she was sent to Pierre to represent her District on.

And what were those bills Representative Howard just couldn’t be there for, for one or more votes?  (In case you were wondering, I made a list):

HB 1024
revise and repeal certain provisions regarding self-support tuition rates at off-campus locations governed by the Board of Regents.
HB 1044
adopt the 2021 edition of the Uniform Plumbing Code, and allow for selective adoption of provisions within the Uniform Plumbing Code by municipalities.
HB 1047
make an appropriation to the Department of Education to improve and renovate the Cultural Heritage Center and to declare an emergency.
HB 1072
revise the safety zone within which a firearm may be discharged or trapping activities may occur.
HB 1083
provide a partial property tax exemption for the surviving spouses of certain veterans.
HB 1121
revise certain provisions related to advanced life support personnel.
HB 1122
require criminal background checks for emergency medical technicians and advanced life support personnel.
HB 1123
establish licensure for rural emergency hospitals.
HB 1160
clarify bond or pre-trial release upon sobriety program participation.
HB 1166
make an appropriation for road improvements leading to the former entrance into the Palisades State Park and to declare an emergency.
HB 1173
include a common paymaster as within the meaning of employing unit.
HB 1196
designate the traditional flute as the official indigenous musical instrument of South Dakota.
HB 1215
revise the deadlines for state agencies to submit annual budget requests to the Legislative Research Council.
HB 1234
make an appropriation to provide contingency funds for unanticipated costs related to the coronavirus pandemic and to declare an emergency.
HB 1237
make an appropriation of moneys received from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund to provide cash assistance to South Dakota citizens.
HB 1238
create a task force on jail planning, to make an appropriation of general contingency funds therefor, and to declare an emergency.
HB 1244
make an appropriation to develop and create a residency program for psychologists and to declare an emergency.
HB 1253
provide property assessment freeze and reduction of property assessment for certain seniors, and to revise qualifications for a property tax exemption.
HB 1277
make an appropriation to the State Conservation Commission, transfer moneys thereto, and to declare an emergency.
HB 1281
clarify the contents of the general appropriations act for fiscal year 2023, pertaining to certain federal moneys and to declare an emergency. (Taffy missed this before it was hoghoused)
HCR 6009
Commending Israel for its cordial and mutually beneficial relationship with this State and the United States.
HCR 6012
Urging the development of options for ensuring continued visitation of patients and residents in nursing facilities and assisted living centers.
HR 7004
Addressing the Governor’s unacceptable actions in matters related to the appraiser certification program.
SB 101
revise provisions regarding the sale or service of alcoholic beverages by persons under the age of twenty-one.
SB 107
provide for the remote witnessing of certain legal instruments.
SB 12
revise the annual report on medical cannabis by the Department of Health to the Legislature.
SB 120
include intentionally manipulated images or recordings in the crime of invasion of privacy by recording.
SB 132
make an appropriation for multi-media lab equipment at Black Hills State University and to declare an emergency.
SB 133
make an appropriation to the Board of Regents to upgrade an education lab and purchase resources at Black Hills State University and to declare an emergency.
SB 14
revise provisions related to the confidential list of medical cannabis cardholders maintained by the Department of Health.
SB 148
revise annuity sales standards.
SB 150
revise provisions concerning medical cannabis.
SB 151
revise the automatic removal of certain convictions from a background check record.
SB 152
provide for ticket-in, ticket-out video lottery.
SB 184
provide for limited elk licenses to landowners.
SB 197
require the POW/MIA flag be displayed in the Senate and House of Representative chambers.
SB 199
revise provisions related to a name change for certain crime victims.
SB 20
revise the medical purpose defense related to the medical use of cannabis.
SB 203
revise certain provisions regarding utility facilities and revenue bonds.
SB 23
revise the definition of bona fide practitioner-patient relationship.
SB 3
provide for the use and regulated sale of marijuana.
SB 33
authorize the Department of Corrections to make healthcare improvements at the South Dakota Women’s Prison, to make an appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency.
SB 4
revise provisions related to a written certification for the medical use of cannabis.
SB 42
authorize the Board of Regents to contract for the design and construction of an addition to the wellness center at the University of South Dakota, to make an appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency.
SB 43
authorize the Board of Regents to contract for the design, renovation, and construction of an addition for a health sciences center at Black Hills State University–Rapid City, to make an appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency.
SB 52
make an appropriation for the replacement of the Richmond Lake spillway, for the general maintenance and repair of other state-owned dams, and to declare an emergency.
SB 55
appropriate funds for the expansion of broadband infrastructure and to declare an emergency.
SB 56
revise certain provisions relating to the South Dakota Retirement System.
SB 58
make an appropriation for the construction of a new state public health laboratory and the renovation of the existing laboratory and to declare an emergency.
SB 61
make an appropriation to the Board of Technical Education to support the purchase of simulation equipment for a health sciences clinical simulation center on the campus of Southeast Technical College and to declare an emergency.
SB 64
make appropriations from the water and environment fund and its revolving fund subfunds for various water and environmental purposes and to declare an emergency.
SB 67
make an appropriation to the Department of Game, Fish and Parks to improve and repair infrastructure around Lake Alvin and Newell Lake and to declare an emergency.
SB 68
revise holiday pay for state employees.
SB 73
provide for the use of artificial light and night-vision equipment while hunting coyotes and other predators.
SB 9
revise the definition of a designated caregiver.
SCR 607
Encouraging the South Dakota High School Activities Association to sanction baseball.

If you weren’t there for 15% of your job, would your employer think it’s no big deal?

All this vote skipping might be even tougher to explain for someone who is jockeying for a promotion.

What do you think?

9 thoughts on “So, how many floor votes did Taffy Howard skip during the 2022 session? About 14%, according to my calculations”

  1. How does she compare to others? What was her reason for being gone? If you are a public official, you are probably missing 15% of your job because you are in session.

  2. I wonder how that compares to the number of votes missed by Noem while she was an elected rep in DC

    1. Not relevant. In congress the average congressman miss a number of vote because of conflicting committee hearings, sub committees, etc. Noem was on the Ways and Means Committee which often convened during session.

  3. The one I want right know about is Sue Peterson would have voted on the resolution regarding Noem.

    The only member we don’t know about her position

  4. How many of these votes lost or won by one?

    Had her vote been needed, would she have been there?

    Would her vote have attracted other votes?

    Of the votes cast, how many would you condemn on substance?

    I barely have enough free time to help Bruce Whalen (google it) between software entrepreneurship, authorship, home school, and house keeping.

    If I had more time, I would be stumping for Howard.

    At the same time, while Thune is irreconcilable to me, I am prepared to help whomever wins the other races across the state.

    We have some very interesting races happening in Spearfish, also.

    I appreciate objective critiques, however, that are constructed to help the subjected official in the event that he or she wins.

    So, more of that, please.


  5. She probably wouldn’t understand what she was to have voted on anyway. Clearly one of the most incompetent legislators Pierre has ever seen. She won’t crack 30% of the votes in June.

    1. Indeed. Young Ms. Taffy, who is very nice, is among the least effective in the legislatures in many years. Very, very ineffective.

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