Many bills still pending as state legislature moves to Week 5

Published: Feb. 10, 2020 at 11:09 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Close to 500 bills have now been introduced for consideration at the South Dakota State Legislature in Pierre.

More than 100 new bills arrived just last week, the deadline for the final bills to be received.

While a few bills have already been killed, many more are still in the works.

Among bills making an appearance this year:

SB 141, designating the ‘Bobolink’ as the official songbird of South Dakota.

Introduced by District 1 Democrat Senator Susan Wismer, SB 141 was deferred by committee to the 41st Day, effectively killing the bill but not the bird.

State Representative and candidate for U.S. Senate Scyller Borglum has her eyes on the stars. She brought HB 1267, a bill to designate Orion as the official constellation of South Dakota. The one line bill does not explain why Orion is more deserving than the other 88 constellations astronomers recognize.

Borglum’s HB 1267 is awaiting a committee assignment, and it’s not the only one. Veteran lobbyist and capitol insiders have noted the number of bills not yet assigned to a committee.

House Speaker Steven Haugaard was away from the dais attending a funeral last week; assigning bills to committees falls to the Speaker of the House.

But some bills date back more than a week, and some estimates put the number waiting on a committee assignment at more than a dozen.

It’s not unusual for a bill’s prime sponsor to pull their bill from consideration. The practice has its own colloquialism among legislators, it’s called “Killing your own dog.”

‘If it doesn’t hunt, it’s your fault for bringing it,’ is how some lawmakers describe the practice.

Lawmakers have until the end of the month to move bills out of the house or origin, known as ‘crossover day.’