Update 2019.02.04 05:33 CST: I wrote this post on Tuesday night, January 29, when Novstrup had missed two days of Session for his Texas trip. The next day, the Senate Journal marked him absent for a third day. Novstrup did not return to work until Thursday, January 31, the fourth and final day of Legislative action during the third week of this Session. I have revised the headline to reflect Novstrup’s full three-day absence from his sworn public service. The post remains as originally published below:
Holy cow—it’s supposed to be 40-below here in Aberdeen tonight!
My phone tells me Pierre will only get down to 20-below tonight. That’s twice as warm, right?
But I notice my District 3 Senator is missing even that relatively mild overnight in Pierre. Senator Al Novstrup was absent all day yesterday and today from the Senate and his committees. Where the heck is he?
#IAAPAFECSummit attendees learn FEC best practices in small group breakout sessions covering games, food and beverage, risk management and group sales at @ausparknpizza. pic.twitter.com/HkbtPH8KQE
— IAAPA (@IAAPAHQ) January 28, 2019
Ah, could it be the appointment that called Senator Novstrup away right after Saturday’s crackerbarrel was a departure from the Aberdeen Regional Airport for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Family Entertainment Center Summit, which held its opening reception in Austin, Texas, Sunday night and then featured two days—the 13th and 14th Days of the 2019 Session of the South Dakota Legislature—jam-packed with food, fun, and inspiration for go-kart operators like Al?
Gee, when Senator Novstrup emphasizes that he’s a part-time legislator, he really means it.
It was 64 degrees in Austin, Texas, on Sunday and 72 on Monday. But then a darn cold spell blew in and dropped today’s high all the way down to 48. 48 above… a good 45 degrees warmer than it was back in Pierre when the Senate gaveled into another session without him this afternoon.
Dang, now that Pierre lost its air service, it’s hard to say whether Al will get through tonight’s “Neon Nights” mingling at the Lost Pines Resort and Spa and be able to zip back to the Capitol in time for Senate Local Government at 9 a.m. tomorrow and Senate State Affairs at 10.
Al Novstrup = Junket Junkie
Will the state pay Al for his vacation?
Legislators get paid whether they show up for work or not. Just ask Dan Kaiser who took a whole legislative session off and still got paid.
Could it be that we are better off if Al isn’t at the capital? There are a few legislators who we should pay not to show up.
Ror, perhaps my coverage of Al’s vacation will encourage other Republican legislators to take junkets during Session. They’ll see skipping Legislative days as a way to stand in solidarity with Al against the mean attacks by Dakota Free Press. The biggest jerks and policy nincompoops would go first, and on some lucky day, the only legislators left in the building would be the responsible, civic-minded ones who take public service seriously. Then Rep. Saba and Sen. Wismer could wield their parliamentary swords to hack away at the agenda, rushing dozens of bills to a vote, chopping away at the garbage (tiny state seals, Weis Code, civics tests Kristi can’t pass) and pushing through Medicaid expansion, initiative and referendum reform, and food tax relief.
Go ahead, Al, take your time coming home. We won’t miss you—
But ultimately, I can’t do that. Legislators should be at their posts every day for which we are paying them to represent our interests. They should be at every committee hearing to which they are assigned, listening to every citizen who comes to speak. They should be in the chamber, debating and voting on every bill brought to the floor.
…and if they are going to go on vacation during Session, they should tell the voters that while they are running.
Mr. C asks a good question. Will the state pay Mr. Novstrup, the elder, his fat pile of meal money to go to Texas and vacation?
I used to love trade shows. Lots of free noshing and swag. You can see why the Senator needed to go, though. He’s quite a bit out of touch with his customer base. Millennials are born liberals and aren’t turning around. Maybe there was a presentation on religious cultural diversity, too. 😉
~ Millennial Expert and Author will deliver highly inspiring presentation about Millennials and will unleash the generational differences, while debunking myths that are promoted by some of the biggest media outlets in the world.
I don’t know why Al couldn’t have just sent his son David to handle the convention for him. David went in 2016… when he was a Senator.
Update: Senator Novstrup was absent from Senate State Affairs at 7:45 a.m. today. Novstrup was absent from Senate Local Government at 9 a.m..
Update: Senator Novstrup missed his third full day of Session yesterday. Novstrup was absent from the Senate floor in the afternoon. Maybe the 90-degree temperature change from Monday in Austin gave him the sniffles.