Legislative leaders share more proposed rule changes for 2021 session in Senate, House

KELOLAND.com Original
KELO South Dakota House Pierre capitol legislature 2019

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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — More changes, including a “mask expectation,” will be discussed for the 2021 legislative session at the Capitol in Pierre.  

On Thursday, incoming Senate leader Lee Schoenbeck (R-Watertown) shared more process rules, involving speaking limits and mask requirements, for both the Senate and House.

View the proposals in a document below. 

The proposals will have to go through respective committees on legislative procedure for consideration before moving to the House and Senate floors for more debate and eventual vote.

On Wednesday, the first proposals of COVID-19 protocols for the 2021 session were released by legislative leaders. House Speaker-elect Rep. Spencer Gosch told KELOLAND News the protocols were a blueprint and added more specifics will be released.

Being proposed in the Senate are two COVID-19 restrictions — asking members of the Senate to be “expected” to wear a mask in Senate areas. Members of the Senate not wearing a mask should remain at least six feet from any staff. Signs will be posted for Senate areas.

The same mask “expectations” will be enforced in Senate committee meetings, including masks for “any person not a member of the Senate shall wear a mask while attending a Senate committee meeting. The committee chair may allow a person to remove his or her mask when speaking to the committee.”

Time limits for speaking on a pending subject are also being adjusted for 10 minutes in the Senate and five minutes in the House. Additional time will be given if another member yields his or her time to speak. 

Remote attendance for Senate or House members will be permitted if the person has COVID-19 or is in quarantine because of COVID-19. 

“The excused member may participate and vote in any committee meeting or any daily session from a remote site and by electronic means. The president pro tempore or speaker shall notify the chair of each committee the excused member serves on that the member has been excused. The committee minutes and the daily journal shall indicate that the excused member participated and voted remotely.”

Both the Senate and House will allow schedule changes due to COVID-19. 

“The president pro tempore of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives may jointly alter the legislative calendar and the deadlines provided by this chapter to respond to any attendance problems created by an outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.”

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