PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Their sponsors plan to challenge the vetoes that Governor Kristi Noem issued last week in her attempt to block the three pieces of legislation from becoming law.
South Dakota’s 105 lawmakers return to the state’s Capitol on Monday for the final day of their 2022 session.
Overriding a governor’s veto requires two-thirds majorities in each chamber — at least 47 in the House of Representatives and at least 24 in the Senate.
Only one of the three — HB 1281 — cleared both chambers with enough support to potentially survive. “Absolutely!” replied Representative Chris Karr, R-Sioux Falls, when asked Saturday whether there will be an attempt to override the veto.
Karr and Senator Jean Hunhoff, R-Yankton, co-chair the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriations that oversees state government’s budget. The final version of 1281 would require, for the budget year starting July 1, that any federal coronavirus-related aid that eight state government agencies receive be placed into special accounts. The governor would need approval beforehand from the joint committee to use that money on any new program.
The legislation defines a new program as “a unique activity, function, or service proposed to be carried out or administered by a budget unit that is not part of the base budget, has not been provided an appropriation by law, and is not currently being performed by a department or agency.” It would affect the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and state departments of transportation, public safety, agriculture and natural resources, social services, health, education, and tourism
In the end, 1281 passed 52-16 in the House and 32-2 in the Senate. It was seen as the key to bringing together the two chambers on the final versions of the new $5.7 billion budget bill for state government and 12 pages of changes to the current budget.
The governor issued a three-page letter Friday afternoon outlining her reasons for the veto. Noem committed to developing “a new protocol” for communication between her Bureau of Finance and Management and the appropriators that wouldn’t require a new state law.
Her two other vetoes affect bills that didn’t receive enough support from legislators to suggest overrides are possible.
HB 1223 would allow pregnant minors to give consent for healthcare procedures in certain instances. Prime sponsor was Representative Erin Healy, D-Sioux Falls.
The Noem administration didn’t take a position during the bill’s two hearings. The governor vetoed it Friday because the bill doesn’t recognize that parents could have a reasonable objection such as wanting a second opinion.
Noem also argued that it is unnecessary because of an existing law that gives physicians legal immunity. Among those testifying in favor were lobbyists for the statewide medical association, statewide dental association and several large healthcare providers.
1223 made it through the House 37-33 and the Senate 30-5. Healy said she still plans to challenge the veto. “I don’t know if I can gain 10 more votes to override, but if anything, I do plan to address the body about the veto,” Healy said Saturday.
The governor’s third veto Friday came against SB 151 that would provide automatic removal of some marijuana violations from a person’s criminal record after five years if they weren’t felonies and the person hadn’t been charged again.
The governor in her veto letter said it would create a special exception for class 1 marijuana misdemeanors and could apply for recreational marijuana, which hasn’t been legalized in South Dakota, or for violating South Dakota’s new medical-marijuana laws. She said there already are ways for people to seek removal from their records.
Noem led the effort that saw the South Dakota Supreme Court last year overturn the 2020 vote in favor of Amendment A that legalized use of marijuana for all persons at least age 21.
“I do plan on having the discussion,” Rohl said. “It affects too many South Dakotans not to.”