PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A letter last week from South Dakota’s governor seeking to resurrect one bill may have led lawmakers to try it for three others.
Now state senators face decisions Monday not only whether to put each of the four pieces of legislation on chamber’s debate calendar but also whether each of the four should pass or fail.
The process, known as a smoke-out or rule 7-7 in the Legislature’s Redbook, says that one-third of a chamber’s members can force a committee to release a bill so the whole chamber can decide it.
In the 35-seat Senate, one-third means 12 senators can get a bill onto the floor. They would still need a majority of 18 to get a bill onto the calendar for debate. They would still need 18 ayes to pass it.
All four of the bills now pending in the Senate failed during Senate committee hearings . The smoke-out is occasionally used in the House but has been rarely attempted in the Senate.
Governor Kristi Noem saw the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday unanimously reject her HB 1140 that would require state conservation officers in most instances to get permission beforehand to enter private land.
House members voted 41-28 for it. But the Senate panel’s 7-0 vote led to her letter later that day to all 35 explaining why she wants the bill.
Among her reasons was a 2003 landowners’ lockout in northwestern South Dakota: “We must never return to the way things were,” her letter said.
On Wednesday, Senate Republican leader Gary Cammack called for the smoke-out, putting him on the opposite side of the chamber’s top-ranking member and fellow Republican, president pro tem Lee Schoenbeck. Senator voted 17-18 for the committee to release it.
Cammack currently has an amendment queued that would add the words ‘a warrant’ and would delete several sentences that were proposed that would have said, “Any evidence obtained pursuant to a search or seizure conducted in violation of this Act is inadmissible in any administrative or judicial proceeding. Any arrest made pursuant to a search or seizure conducted in violation of this Act is invalid.”
Here are the three other bills the Senate will decide whether to debate Monday:
HB 1217 from Rhonda Milstead would require high schools assign transgender students to activities according to their sex at birth. The House passed it 50-17. Milstead spoke about it at the CPAC convention in Florida last month. The Senate State Affairs Committee however set it aside 6-3. Senators led by Margaret Sutton, its Senate sponsor, had the committee release it 16-18.
HB 1212 from Kevin Jensen and supported by the National Rifle Association would rewrite self-defense laws to make South Dakota a ‘stand your ground’ state. The House voted 61-7 for it. The Senate Judiciary Committee defeated it 4-2. Senators led by John Wiik, the bill’s Senate sponsor, got the committee to release it 20-14.
HB 1075 from Aaron Aylward calls for any federal action or state court action taking away firearms or ammunition to be null and void. It is supported by the National Association of Gun Rights. The House voted 59-7 for it. Senate State Affairs members killed it 8-1. Senators led by Marsha Symens, its Senate lead sponsor, got the committee to release it 12-22.