SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– Gov. Kristi Noem addressed bills her office is pushing to have passed in the South Dakota Legislature during a news conference later Thursday morning.
Those bills touch on health care and broadband, among some topics.
Noem also shared how the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline will impact some businesses and schools in South Dakota.
President Joe Biden signed an executive order to cancel the project shortly after taking office in January.
Noem expressed her disappointment with the cancellation of the project, citing the economic impact on the state due to the loss of tax revenue and jobs for temporary workers. Despite this, she stated she does not yet have numbers regarding the estimated economic impact of the pipeline’s cancellation.
Noem also voiced displeasure with what she perceives as a lack of coverage by South Dakota media’s of the pipeline cancelation, saying she “knows for a fact” that if she or former President Trump had ended a project like the Keystone pipeline, local media would have covered it.
When questioned about her views on recent bills brought by the South Dakota legislature targeting transgender people, Noem said that she has not weighed in on them, but would evaluate the measures if those come to her desk.
When asked what kind of message such bills send, Noem expressed her view that South Dakota is a welcoming place, and she encourages people who value their freedoms to visit.
SD Legislative session 2021
The South Dakota Legislature is established by Article III of the Constitution of South Dakota as a bicameral legislative body. Legislative Sessions can run for up to 40 days every year, depending on the legislative calendar set by the Legislature.
The 2021 Legislative Session will begin Tuesday, January 12, 2021, and ends Monday, March 29, 2021, to complete a 37-day session. During the Session, the Legislature will be in recess beginning Friday, March 12, through Friday, March 26.
The Senate consists of 35 Senators (32 Republicans, 3 Democrats) representing 35 districts. The Constitution provides for not fewer than 25 or more than 35 members.
The House consists of 70 Representatives (62 Republicans, 8 Democrats) representing 35 districts. The Constitution provides for not fewer than 50 or more than 75 members. Districts 26 and 28 have been subdivided into two House districts to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act.
A bill is simply an idea that someone would like to see become law. It could be anything from the penalty for committing a crime to the amount of money that can be spent on a state program. The idea can come from anyone, but only a Representative or Senator can take that idea and guide it to final passage through the State Legislature.
Following the introduction and first reading of a bill in either house, the presiding officer assigns the bill to a committee based on the subject matter. Generally, bills dealing with certain subjects are assigned to the same committee.
The South Dakota Legislative Research Council, a nonpartisan professional staff for lawmakers, prepares legislative drafts and provides professional staff to standing committees and individual legislators for technical advice and research.
SD Legislative Session COVID-19 protocols