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Crossover Week Kills a Few Bad Bills

Crossover Week is bringing a merciful death to some typically bad Republican solutions out looking for problems:

  • Yesterday, Senate State Affairs killed House Bill 1225, an unnecessary culture-war bill purporting to ban public funding of abortions.
  • Senate Health and Human Services knocked down House Bill 1096, Rep. Jon Hansen’s attempt to criminalize commercial surrogacy agreements.
  • The slothful Representative Arch Beal couldn’t figure out what he wanted to do with three hoghouse carcasses—HB 1220 on education, HB 1221 on health care, and HB 1222 on government services—so he withdrew them yesterday in House State Affairs. He had Senator Jim Bolin prepared to co-sponsor, so I suspect that whatever vague impulses Beal was unable to rouse himself long enough to codify, they were bad ideas.
  • HB 1231, Rep. Chris Karr’s tax break for fancy cigar smokers, failed on a 6–7 vote yesterday. Some cigar enthusiasts and the cigar industry testified in favor, but the Department or Revenue and the American Cancer Society snuffed them out. No word yet on whether Karr will pursue a smokeout.
  • HB 1251, the plan to say you can’t be a Regent if you’re from a county with a Regental Institution, failed Tuesday in House Education 3–11. Sponsor Rep. Tina Mullaly found some guy from Piedmont to testify for it, but the Regnts, the Governor’s Office, and SDSU students all said that membership ban,  whittling the Board of Regents down from nine to five, and tightening the term limits was a bad idea.

Today is the last day to move bills out of their chamber of origin before legislators take their three-day weekend. Take notes, and be ready to grill your legislators at your crackerbarrel!


  1. Debbo 2020-02-27 14:35

    The Roger Cornelius Memorial cartoon by Marty Two Bulls

  2. grudznick 2020-02-27 17:55

    Mr. H, you might criticize Mr. Beal for many things, but is it not his job to put in the carcasses, along with Mr. Bolin on the other side of the room? Methinks you know not the real meat of the process as much as you think you do, or perhaps you only seek to find reasons to use unflattering adjectives on people. You should go to the legislatures in person and talk to them about the carcasses while they are still alive and hanging from the hooks. These two fellows hold the same title, so that might be kind of a clue.

  3. leslie 2020-02-27 20:40

    “Over the past decade, the GOP has moved in lockstep to take over state legislatures and other local offices, pressing its agenda at every level. The party has had the backing of well-financed groups that in turn expect their limited-government, free market legislation to be prioritized. It’s not a popular mandate, but Republicans keep getting reelected anyway, thanks to their outside support and organization.***
    Virginia, which flipped to having full Democratic control for the first time in about two decades, state government had an opportunity to pass laws that would greatly expand union rights, making it easier for private sector workers to unionize and for those unions to have more resources. Those efforts got scuttled—in fact, the governor said it would be a mistake for Democrats to prioritize these laws. The fact that Democrats have this internal
    division over what they should do first is … a striking comparison with what happens on the right.”

  4. leslie 2020-02-27 20:46

    This is ALEC in action.

    “It [doesn’t] matter, in a way, whether Trump or another Republican candidate ends up winning, because these ALEC-like organizations would have worked with the Republican administration in any case to pursue the sort of policies that complement the party at the local, state, and national level.”

  5. Bob Newland 2020-02-28 03:14

    Helene Duhamel posts on Facebook that “the legislature dressed in black, mourning for the bills that died trying to achieve crossover.” That might have been pretty fair satire, but I believe she was entirely literal.

  6. grudznick 2020-02-28 08:11

    As my good friend Bob knows, that is the literal tradition with the legislatures. Some shed tears even. Others dance with glee and point at the poor fellows whose law bills are now dead.

  7. Donald Pay 2020-02-28 08:51

    “Crossover week” was never a thing in the South Dakota Legislature a couple decades ago. It was, however, a thing in North Dakota’s Legislature, when I was up there in 1981. Why are South Dakotans following North Dakota nomenclature now? If you are calling it “crossover week,” move to Bismarck.

    There was and is now, to be sure, a calendar deadline in South Dakota for bills to have passed the house of origin. Legislators liked to pretend the deadline was a hard and fast date, but, as everyone knew, that deadline could be and usually was extended by a day or two into the next week, if necessary, by a simple motion to defer action on bills. Unless rules have changed, there really is no deadline and no such thing as “crossover week.”

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