Press "Enter" to skip to content

Governor Daugaard Vetoes HB 1008, Saves Transgender Kids from Paranoid Potty Bill

ACLU-victory1008Dana Ferguson gets the first Tweet: Governor Dennis Daugaard has vetoed House Bill 1008, the now nationally infamous paranoid potty bill.

Just minutes after winning a historic victory for teachers with passage of House Bill 1182, Governor Daugaard issued this statement explaining his veto of HB 1008:

House Bill 1008 does not address any pressing issue concerning the school districts of South Dakota.  As policymakers in South Dakota, we often recite that the best government is the government closest to the people.  Local school districts can, and have, made necessary restroom and locker room accommodations that serve the best interests of all students, regardless of biological sex or gender identity.

This bill seeks to impose statewide standards on “every restroom, locker room, and shower room located in a public elementary or secondary school.”  It removes the ability of local school districts to determine the most appropriate accommodations for their individual students and replaces that flexibility with a state mandate.

If and when these rare situations arise, I believe local school officials are best positioned to address them.  Instead of encouraging local solutions, this bill broadly regulates in a manner that invites conflict and litigation, diverting energy and resources from the education of the children of this state.

Preserving local control is particularly important because this bill would place every school district in the difficult position of following state law while knowing it openly invites federal litigation.  Although there have been promises by an outside entity to provide legal defense to a school district, this provision is not memorialized in the bill.  Nor would such defense eliminate the need for school or state legal counsel, nor avoid expenses relating to expert witnesses, depositions and travel, or other defense costs.  Nor does the commitment extend to coverage over settlement or damage expenses.  This law will create a certain liability for school districts and the state in an area where no such liability exists today [Governor Dennis Daugaard, veto statement on HB 1008, 2016.03.01].

Governor Daugaard deftly avoid taking an explicit position on the validity of transgender students’ rights to equal treatment and instead retreats to the safe conservative position of favoring local control. Whether he acknowledges the rightness of Democratic arguments against HB 1008, our Republican Governor’s veto of this culture-war distraction spares South Dakota further embarrassment in the national press and the possible loss of $205 million in federal education funding. It also delivers a double blow to Republican conservatives whose only consolation this week is that the Governor has delayed expansion of Medicaid.


  1. Jenny 2016-03-01 18:49

    Thank you Gov Daugaard, you did the right thing.

  2. Bob Newland 2016-03-01 19:19

    On occasion, pragmatism intersects with a good outcome.

  3. grudznick 2016-03-01 19:24

    Bob, you’re quoting one of the mottos we use at the Pragmatist’s Breakfast!

  4. Jason Sebern 2016-03-01 19:24

    Thank you Governor Daugaard!

  5. Darin Larson 2016-03-01 19:47

    Hipp Hipp Hooray!

  6. Jana 2016-03-01 19:54

    The money quote from our Senator Rounds on Trump’s tacit support of white supremists, KKK and David Duke:

    “.. if he did it intentionally — I don’t think he did, I think he just made a mistake — even if he did, they’re still going to do a better job with him there than if you had Hillary or Bernie in his place.”

    Funny that national press picks it up and the local press gives him yet another pass. Sad.

  7. Darin Larson 2016-03-01 20:06

    Maybe Rounds will agree with Trump that Trump could shoot somebody in the middle of the street and still be the Republican nominee. White supremacist supporter or murderer tough call!

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-03-01 21:03

    (Hang on, Jana—Rounds’s KKK blindness gets its own post tomorrow!)

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-03-01 22:03

    HB 1008 prime sponsor Rep. Fred Deutsch has declared surrender—DWC posts a letter in which Rep. Deutsch asks his colleagues to support the Governor’s veto. Rep. Deutsch’s request seems unnecessary: the Senate vote for this bill was 20–15, not enough to override a veto.

  10. Roger Cornelius 2016-03-01 22:14

    That anonymous guy that dominates the comment section over on DWC is wetting all over himself with the governor’s veto of 1008.

  11. Roger Cornelius 2016-03-01 22:16

    Daugaard’s veto of 1008 is pretty big news, I learned of the veto via a Breaking News email from CNN.

  12. Kris Begansky Norlin 2016-03-01 23:26

    I thank you Gov. Daugaard for your thoughtful response to this issue. But I am not surprised. Although I am a liberal Democrat in an overly Republican state- I know you are incredibly smart and regardless of politics- have a true understanding for what is fair and right. I truly felt before the political requirements, you as a person in the real world – were someone who would treat issues such as this with his heart, and not just a political surface view. I know there is a balance, but it has obviously been weighed to one side for too long. And I must again say- many issues should not be political- they are human issues we as a society deal with in everyday circumstances.

  13. leslie 2016-03-01 23:49

    kkk is in 36 states south of us except NE, KS, UT, NV, HI. MN has um too. INDEPENDANT, today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.