There ought to be a law? Not in this case. The “I-don’t-want-to-put-my-coat-on” act.

Every year, there are bills introduced that leave you asking “really?”  This would be an example:


Introduced by: Senators Olson, Bradford, Brown, Buhl O’Donnell, Cammack, Curd, Ewing, Frerichs, Greenfield (Brock), Haggar (Jenna), Haverly, Heineman (Phyllis), Heinert, Holien, Hunhoff (Bernie), Jensen (Phil), Lederman, Monroe, Novstrup (David), Otten (Ernie), Parsley, Peters, Peterson (Jim), Rampelberg, Rave, Soholt, Solano, Sutton, Tidemann, Vehle, and White and Representatives Gosch, Anderson, Beal, Bolin, Bordeaux, Brunner, Campbell, Craig, Deutsch, Feickert, Gibson, Greenfield (Lana), Haggar (Don), Harrison, Haugaard, Heinemann (Leslie), Hickey, Hunhoff (Jean), Hunt, Johns, Kaiser, Klumb, Latterell, Marty, May, McCleerey, Mickelson, Otten (Herman), Partridge, Peterson (Kent), Rasmussen, Ring, Romkema, Rounds, Rozum, Russell, Schaefer, Schoenfish, Sly, Stalzer, Stevens, Tulson, Verchio, Westra, Wiik, Wink, and Wollmann

FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to provide Legislators access to the state capitol complex tunnel system.
Section 1. That chapter 2-4 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:

Each member of the Legislature has access to all public buildings through the capitol complex tunnel system during regular business hours throughout the regular legislative session. The Bureau of Administration shall provide to the Legislative Research Council a tunnel access card for each Legislator for distribution no later than the first day of each regular Legislative session. The Bureau of Administration may charge the Legislative Research Council the usual and customary charge for the tunnel access cards. The Legislative Research Council shall pay any charges for the tunnel access cards from funds appropriated to the Legislature.

31 Senators and 47 Representative sponsoring a measure that the state issue all legislators keycards to the tunnel system that runs from the State Capitol to two or three buildings immediately adjacent to the Capitol, with said tunnels originally constructed for heat pipes. (They have similar steam pipe tunnels at SDSU, which are far more extensive, and cool as they spider across campus.)

But I’m still forced to ask – Really?  Having worked in the State Capitol Complex for a good number of years, I can personally attest to the fact that between going down the stairs, and up the stairs, all you’re really saving is the effort to put on a coat to go across the street…. For a trip that probably takes you less time.

And the last I knew, South Dakota fresh air never hurt anyone.

7 thoughts on “There ought to be a law? Not in this case. The “I-don’t-want-to-put-my-coat-on” act.”

  1. I wonder if this is less about not putting their coats on and more about a fight between the Legislative and Executive branches. My guess is that a legislator asked for tunnel access and was denied by the Bureau of Administration. If so, the BOA either believes it does not have authority to grant access or it is being childish by withholding access. Either one may deserve a legislative response.

  2. This bill may make sense if it’s extremely cold, windy, or rainy out. Back when I was in the House the tunnels were open. When I came back to the Senate they were gated/locked. Some anti-terrorism crap I suspect. I’d say go ahead and issue the cards. They can’t be too expensive, and they’d probably be rarely used.

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