The 2021 legislative session to end with “Veto Day”

Published: Mar. 28, 2021 at 10:38 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Monday will bring an end to the 2021 South Dakota state legislative session, with “Veto Day.”

This year’s legislative session saw several highly talked-about bills and measures. And many bills being killed, then given new life through smoke outs.

One of those saved bills will be the main topic of discussion for veto day.

The bill taking the center stage tomorrow is house bill 1217. If signed it would prevent transgender girls and women from participating in female sports.

The governor vetoed the bill as a style and form change, making several changes to the legislation.

Many legislators I talked to feel the changes go past a style and form change.

“This has been a long and difficult decision to make after consulting many legal scholars across the state of South Dakota, it is unanimous that the Governor’s proposal is outside of her constitutional authority as the recommended changes are clearly substantive,” said the Republican House Speaker Spencer Gosch of Glenham.

“I will be recommending that the House of Representatives rejects Governor Noem’s proposal as unconstitutional.”

Gosch hopes to send the bill back to the governor and have it signed into law.

“We will then send HB 1217 back to her desk, giving her one more opportunity to do what’s right for women’s sports in South Dakota by signing it,” said Gosch. “Let’s join the existing coalition of states that have passed similar legislation like Idaho, Mississippi, Tennessee, and most recently Arkansas.”

Other legislators like Democratic Representative Linda Duba of Sioux Falls hope the bill is sent back and killed again.

“These are children, they want to play let’s give them the chance. This is discriminatory on so many levels and completely unnecessary this is not where government needs to interfere.”

While HB 12-17 is the only bill on the veto day docket, Governor Noem has asked legislators to consider changes to initiated measure 26, the medical marijuana in South Dakota measure.

Some legislators though believe this measure will likely have a special session later this year.

“I think there are a lot of inherent conflicts within the law that do need to be addressed and maybe we can get some of those done on veto day,” said Republican Representative Steven Haugaard of Sioux Falls. “I think it would make more sense if you had a special session and actually be hands-on and address this the way it should be addressed.”

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