In another victory for keeping the Legislature’s nose out of school locker rooms and bathrooms, Senate Education this morning quashed House Bill 1112, Rep. Roger Hunt’s latest effort to push his anti-transgender agenda by beating up on the South Dakota High School Activities Association. HB 1112 sought to void the SDHSAA’s transgender policy and require Legislative approval for any future transgender policy. Sen. Brock Greenfield reportedly raised his concerns about the crushing blows that transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox can deliver. I’m waiting for the hearing audio from SDPB to transcribe and dissect those scare tactics and to find out from SDHSAA which school districts are petitioning to add cage fighting to the list of sanctioned high school sports.
Senate Education took a cue from the Governor’s veto of HB 1008 and deferred HB 1112 to the 41st day (i.e., killed it) on a 5–2 vote. Senators Greenfield and Bruce Rampelberg voted to keep the fight going; Senator R. Blake Curd, who cosponsored the bill, joined Republicans Deb Soholt and Alan Solano and Democrats Bernie Hunhoff and Jason Frerichs in booting the bill.
So, thank Gaia, South Dakota’s actually knocked down the three big bigotry bills of this session: in addition to the committee snuffing of HB 1112 and the veto of HB 1008, we got Rep. Rev Scott Craig to withdraw HB 1107, his discrimination disguised as religious freedom bill.
But wait: my sources tell me transphobics in the Senate may rally for a smokeout, a vote by one third of the chamber to force a committee to send a defeated bill to the floor for debate. Smoking out HB 1112 will require 12 Senators; smoker-outers could pick from among the 20 Senators who voted for HB 1008…
…speaking of which, multiple sources tell me that Rep. Fred Deutsch is pushing for House members to vote to override the Governor’s veto of HB 1008 this afternoon. Consideration of the veto is item #1 on this afternoon’s House calendar (session convenes at 1 p.m. Central). This push appears to run counter to a statement attributed to Rep. Deutsch on Tuesday evening, in which Rep. Deutsch reportedly said he would encourage colleagues to concur with the veto, since “Further focus on this issue will detract from the other significant accomplishments of the legislature this session.”
Sensibility is evidently fleeting for some Republicans. Buckle up for a bumpy afternoon in Pierre!
Update 14:29 CST: The House did little but consider the Governor’s veto of HB 1008. Rep. Deutsch told his colleagues they did not have the votes to override the veto in the Senate, so he asked his colleagues to give his brainchild a dignified death in the House and help him come up with a better bill for next Session. Eighteen of his colleagues joined him in flipping their yeas to nays to sustain the veto: