Safety protocols proposed ahead of SD legislative session

Local News

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — We have a better idea of what the 2021 legislative session could look like in South Dakota as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

A proposal released Wednesday shows some of the safety measures being considered ahead of the session.

One of the safety protocols proposed for the 2021 legislative session is allowing lawmakers to attend and vote remotely under certain circumstances and with leadership approval.

Volk: What are those circumstances that that would be allowed?
Gosch: That is the part that is still under conversation. Right now it’s our intention to have a legislative policies and procedures meeting on Wednesday in which the individuals I have appointed from the House will get together. We’ll discuss the House rules; same thing on the Senate side. And then we’ll get together to talk about the joint rules.

Rep.-elect Jennifer Keintz had hoped to have more concrete guidance by now.

“We’ve been given just some general information and I haven’t heard anything more than you have than what’s in that news release. I guess as a new legislator, I would like to know a little more concrete, what does that mean that people may be allowed to work remotely under certain circumstances? What are those circumstances?” Rep.-elect Jennifer Keintz said.

House Speaker-elect Rep. Spencer Gosch calls the proposal a blueprint, and says more specifics will be released soon.

Lawmakers will debate and vote on them next week.

“We’re going to have to be able to adjust and roll with the different issues and circumstances that come up. You will see more rules that will be applied that we haven’t released yet because we’re working on the exact verbiage,” Gosch said.

Mask rules are also being considered by both the House and Senate.

The session opens on Tuesday.

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