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Women's sports bill smoked out in Senate
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Women's sports bill smoked out in Senate

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The Senate successfully revived House Bill 1217, which if enacted would ban transgender girls from playing on girls’ athletic teams on Thursday afternoon. The Senate State Affairs on Wednesday voted 6-3 to send the bill to the 41st day.

Sen. Maggie Sutton, R-Sioux Falls, used Joint Rule 7-7 to “smoke out” the bill, a legislative procedure that says if one-third of a house’s members approves, that house can require a committee to deliver a bill to the full house by the next legislative day. The bill will need to be calendared, which requires a majority vote to bring the bill to a floor debate.

Sutton brought the bill back because she said she believes there is “positive support” from the Senate for the bill. Sutton testified in favor of the bill during the Senate State Affairs committee hearing on the bill on Wednesday.

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“Reasons for sending this to the 41st day was purely based on opinion. I think this Senate chamber wants to hear honest testimony. So let’s give democracy a chance,” Sutton told the Senate.

Per Joint Rule 7-7, only one-third of the Senate needs to vote in favor of bringing the bill back in order to revive it. Sixteen senators, all Republicans, voted in favor, and 18 opposed.

The Senators who voted in favor of bringing the bill to the Senate floor were Sens. Jim Bolin, R-Canton; Gary Cammack, R-Union Center; Jessica Castleberry, R-Rapid City; Blake Curd, R-Sioux Falls; Julie Frye-Mueller, R-Rapid City; Brock Greenfield, R-Clark; David Johnson, R-Rapid City; Joshua Klumb, R-Mitchell; Jack Kolbeck, R-Sioux Falls; Ryan Maher, R-Isabel; Al Novstrup, R-Aberdeen; Sutton; Marsha Symens, R-Dell Rapids; Erin Tobin, R-Winner; John Wiik, R-Big Stone City; and Larry Zikmund, R-Sioux Falls.

House Bill 1217 is the second bill this session that opponents say discriminates against transgender people, and both were smoked out after being killed in committees. The first, House Bill 1076, which would no longer allow transgender people to change their sex marker on their birth certificates to match their gender, was smoked out in the House after being sent to the 41st day in the House Health and Human Services committee. The Senate’s Health and Human Services committee later killed that bill.

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