South Dakota Senate passes HB 1217

Politics
KELO Pierre Capital Generic

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A bill in the South Dakota Legislature that would require student-athletes across the state to sign a document stating their biological sex and limit who can play in girls and women’s sports is heading to the governor.

House Bill 1217 was passed Monday afternoon. Governor Noem will now decide whether the bill becomes state law.

Governor Noem commented on the bill shortly after it was passed.

House Bill 1217 is being called ‘an act to promote continued fairness in women’s sports.’ It is similar to an Idaho law that is under legal challenge. Supporters said Monday male athletes often are physically larger and stronger than female athletes in similar sports.

The bill’s prime sponsor, Rhonda Milstead, watched from the Senate gallery as Maggie Sutton prepared to talk about it on the floor. Fred Deutsch had a long-lens camera in hand and tweeted afterward, “Flying high and humbly grateful for the SD Senate voting to pass the Fairness in Women’s Sports bill, and @govkristinoem‘s statement that she will sign it. SD will become the third state to protect women’s sports.”

Senators who switched from no on the 1217 smoke-out Thursday to yes on final passage Monday included Bryan BreitlingCasey CrabtreeMichael Diedrich and Herman Otten. Jim Stalzer was excused Thursday and voted yes Monday, while Blake Curd went from yes to no.

“House Bill 1217 isn’t about protecting fairness in women’s sports. It’s about erasing and excluding trans people from participation in all aspects of public life,” ACLU-South Dakota said in a statement afterward.

It is one of four bills that failed to pass out of a Senate committee but saw sponsors attempt to put on the Senate debate calendar Monday.

Senators voted 21-14 for final approval to HB 1212 that rewrites South Dakota’s self-defense statutes to be similar to Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ laws. It now heads to the governor for her decision whether to sign it into law. Senator John Wiik said the governor and the National Rifle Association support it. Arguments that the topic should be instead studied were unpersuasive.

Senators who switched from no on the 1212 smoke-out Thursday to yes for final approval Monday included Jim Bolin and Otten From yes to no were Curd and Jack Kolbeck. Stalzer was excused Thursday and voted yes Monday. 

Senators amended HB 1140 that would require state conservation officers to get permission or have a warrant before entering private property in most instances. The 21-14 vote returns the governor’s bill to the House for representatives to decide Tuesday whether to agree with the Senate.

Senators who switched from no on the 1140 smoke-out last week to yes on approving the amended version Monday included Breitling, Crabtree, Diedrich, Mary Duvall and Troy Heinert. Larry Zikmund went from yes to no. 

Several of the governor’s staff including senior policy advisor Maggie Seidel watched from the Senate upstairs gallery as the debates unfolded. So did NRA lobbyist Brian Gosch, a former lawmaker.

Senators refused to debate HB 1075 that would have nullified any federal action or state court action seeking to take away firearms and ammunition.

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