We went back to Pierre for the traditional Veto Day designed to see if the Governor vetoed any bill that we passed during Session. There was one bill, HB-1217 which was to promote continued fairness in women’s sports.
It was sent back to us from the governor for style and form changes. It seemed like a smoke screen to me because the bill was drastically gutted and rewritten. This tactic didn’t fly with us House members. We voted on if we were going to accept this so-called style and form or send it back. We said “no” by a vote of 2-67. Next we had to determine that because it wasn’t style and form that we would consider it a veto.
After lots of discussions and meetings, we voted to override the veto. An override takes a two thirds vote of 47 out of 70 members in the House. We got 45 yeas, or were 2 short from an override. So, HB-1217 is dead.
The Governor did come out with two Executive Orders, one addressing boys in girl’s sports kindergarten through 12th grade, and another addressing men in women’s sports at the collegiate level. The problem with these Executive Orders is that they’re not law and there isn’t any teeth in them.
Backing up a bit, how in the world did we get in this predicament in the first place?
Currently there are zero men/boys with sex changes participating in women/girls sports in the K through 12 or college ranks. Zero. There has only been one case of this happening in South Dakota. One. It is my understanding the high school athletic association denied this person participation as they felt it was an unfair advantage.
In Connecticut two sex-changed males to females broke most of their track and field records. So, were we legislating for a future problem? Probably. Was HB-1217 the right thing to do? I was co-sponsor of the bill, voted for it in State Affairs Committee where it passed 11-2. I again voted for it on the House floor where it passed 50-17 with 3 absent. It went to the Senate and passed 20-15. Like I already mentioned, the House’s attempt to override the veto came up two votes short, so the bill is dead.
I understand Governor Noem’s frustration with this bill, particularly with the NCAA threatening boycotting tournaments in South Dakota if it had passed. I also know Governor Noem is totally against sex-changed boys/men participating in women/girls sports. We are all in agreement here; we just differ on how to attack the possible future problem.
So, what’s next? It looks like a Special Session will be called to see if we all can get on the same page on this controversial subject. Also on the agenda in Special Session is fine-tuning medical marijuana which passed in the past election with 70% approval (IM-26).