Like some of you, I read Sen. Phil Jensen’s article applauding the conservative wins we had this past legislative session.

While I respect Jensen and agree with him on many issues, including constitutional rights, pro-life and free speech, I do differ on his mischaracterization of what it means to be a conservative, particularly concerning legislation.

I am a firm believer in the saying, “that government is best which governs least.”

Every time we create a piece of legislation, we limit the freedom of ourselves and others. If we don’t need it, we should not create it. Thus, my disagreement in some of Jensen’s bills this past legislative session, and his subtle but clear assumption, that I am somehow less conservative.

First, let’s paint the entire picture…

Regarding Jensen’s comment “the only Rapid City legislator on this committee voting against parental rights was Rep. Scyller Borglum.”

The Health and Human Services committee consists of 13 legislators: two Democrats, and 11 Republicans. HB 1205 died in committee with a YEAS (5), NAYS (8) fail. I was one of six Republicans to vote no on this bill.

Secondly, I voted no on HB1205, which would have given the parent the “right to refuse consent to health care treatment of a minor child if the parent believes that the treatment would induce, confirm or promote the child’s belief that the child’s sex or gender identity is different from the child’s sex presented at birth.”

The logic is simple: With very few exceptions, minors currently need parental consent to medical treatment so it doesn’t make sense to create more legislation when what we have works. Less government, not more.

Lastly, I don’t use legislation to wage wars against certain groups of people just because they aren’t like me. It isn’t our job to limit the freedom of others, just like it isn’t the government’s job to tell me how many guns I should or should not own.

Regarding SB55 (In God We Trust) and HB1108 (Not teaching gender dysphoria in public schools), both of these bills are an example of government overreach. Our state government should support and empower local governments and school districts to lead, govern, and make their own decisions. I will vote consistently against any bill I believe is exercising government overreach. Period. Less government, not more.

As a common-sense conservative, I value my God-given brain and don’t solely vote for my own personal beliefs or to gain the acceptance of fellow legislators. I do the hard thing, the right thing, for all of South Dakota.

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Republican state Rep. Scyller Borglum, District 32, is running for the U.S. Senate.

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