Governor Dennis Daugaard scratched his veto itch today. Stricken by the Governor’s pen today were these five bills:
House Bill 1156: This bill would have allowed individuals with enhanced concealed pistol permits to carry their firearms in the Capitol. In his veto message, Governor Daugaard says the Highway Patrol provides sufficient security in the Capitol and far better security than individuals who take one eight-hour training course to get an enhanced concealed pistol permit:
During the legislative session, meaningful debates among the public and legislators are frequent and oftentimes passionate. Where emotions can run high, it is important to be protected by people who are routinely trained to manage dangerous situations. Law enforcement training focuses on knowing when to pull the trigger—and when not to. Our law enforcement officers are uniquely able to protect the public, and I believe this bill would complicate that work [Gov. Dennis Daugaard, veto message on HB 1156, 2017.03.17].
House Bill 1072: This bill would have repealed the requirement to get a permit to carry a concealed pistol. Governor and NRA member Daugaard says our current permit requirements have stopped no lawful gun owners from exercising their Second Amendment rights but have kept permits out of the hands of hundreds of individuals not qualified to carry. The Governor rebuts absolutists by citing Justice Antonin Scalia:
As Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller: “There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms. Of course the right was not unlimited, just as the First Amendment’s right of free speech was not.” As an example of a lawful limitation Justice Scalia states that “prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment…” [Gov. Dennis Daugaard, veto message on HB 1072, 2017.03.17].
House Bill 1149: This bill would have lowered the monthly tax on landlines, cell phones, and radio pagers from fifteen cents to fourteen cents. The Governor (whose parents were deaf) rejects this tax cut as imperiling the sustainability of the telecommunication fund for the deaf. He also says reducing this fee amidst an already tight budget is a bad idea.
Senate Bill 33: This bill revises the special education formula. SB 33 actually froze allocations to special ed. The Governor says that zero increase was passed before the Joint Appropriations Committee found the money to allow the 0.3% index factor increase for general education in SB 35. The Governor says SB 35 increases funding for special ed, too, so SB 33 is redundant.
Senate Bill 164: This bill came from Senator Al Novstrup, who wanted to increase the maximum probation juvenile offenders can receive. Amendments added an option to put juveniles into Corrections if they pose a risk of harm to themselves. Governor Daugaard says jail isn’t the place to take care of kids in such conditions:
The term “harm to themselves” may encompass a broad array of factual scenarios: suicidal thoughts, self-mutilation, tobacco use, drug or alcohol addiction, eating disorders, or many other potential behaviors or conditions.
These serious situations are best dealt with through counseling or treatment, not Department of Corrections custody, and resources are available in communities throughout the state to serve these young people. In fact, placing juveniles with these behaviors into DOC custody, alongside those with violent or dangerous offenses, could put these young people in greater danger or influence them toward more serious problems.
If a juvenile is at risk of self-harm, Department of Corrections custody is not the best way to help that child. In its current form, Senate Bill 164 does not serve to better protect the public and it puts juveniles at risk of unnecessary confinement [Governor Dennis Daugaard, veto message on SB 164, 2017.03.17].
Maybe Governor Daugaard is just playing Grandpa Cheap again and not wanting to add to jail costs, but on this bill, he seems to be hitting the right note. If kids are suicidal, don’t jail ’em; help ’em.
SB 164 and SB 33 both passed with veto-proof two-thirds majorities.
HB 1149 lacked two-thirds in the House.
The Legislature reconvenes on Monday, March 27, to consider these vetoes.