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Coronavirus Concerns Lead Duba to Legislate from Home

Representative Linda Duba (D-15/Sioux Falls) is keeping herself and all the Capitol staff safe and setting a good example for all legislators by saying she won’t legislate in person until she’s fully vaccinated against coronavirus:

Rep. Linda Duba, a Sioux Falls Democrat, informed legislative leadership she will stay away from the Capitol building during the upcoming legislative session out of concern for her health, the Argus Leader reported. The 64-year-old lawmaker said she would not attend meetings in-person until she receives two doses of a vaccine.

…Duba told legislative leaders in an email that she believes proposed rules in the Capitol are not in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on indoor gatherings.

“I am 64, have mild asthma, and high blood pressure,” she said, adding that if she contracts COVID-19, it could have devastating consequences [“South Dakota Lawmaker Says She’ll Stay Away from Capitol,” AP via Yankton Press & Dakotan, 2020.12.29].

Twice this year, for the last day of the regular Session in March and the Special Session in October the Legislature proved that it can conduct business remotely, protecting legislators (who include a lot of older, vulnerable citizens) and state employees from additional risk of coronavirus. Legislators and lobbyists may prefer to work face to face, but during this pandemic, we all have to make sacrifices.

Follow Representative Duba’s lead, legislators: stay home, legislate from your computer screen, and keep coronavirus from spreading.

Update 18:23 CST: As incoming Senate President Pro-Tem Lee Schoenbeck (R-5/Watertown) recuperates from coronavirus in his Black Hills lair (dang! get well, Lee!) and says he knows of twelve Senators who have tested positive, Representive Steve Haugaard (R-10/Sioux Falls), whom covid hit hard in October, is refusing to accommodate Representative Duba’s legitimate health concerns:

“I think we’re going to take plenty of precautions and provide options there in the capitol where people can social distance, they can wear masks, they can have plexiglass dividers in the chamber if they choose, Rep. Steve Haugaard said.

…But attending a session remotely would require a change in the rules, something Haugaard doesn’t support.

“Life has risks. I think we need to move forward and get our job done. If you’re expecting entire session to be problematic, you’ve got to consider, do I resign my position and let somebody actually get out there who can fill the role,” Haugaard said [Angela Kennecke, “Sioux Falls Legislator Asking to Work Remotely for Upcoming Session Met with Opposition,” KELO-TV, 2020.12.29].

Haugaard makes it sound like Republicans are ready to use the wise health concerns of Democrats to push for further partisan advantage in Pierre.

24 Comments

  1. Mark Anderson 2020-12-29

    Of course, l’m sitting at home until I get mine too. Its really not hard, it all could be prevented you know, easily, but why argue with idiots. Just stay safe folks, have a good drink on your porch just like I’m doing right now.

  2. jerry 2020-12-29

    Representative Duba clearly reads science and understands that to get the Covid doesn’t necessarily mean death, but it does mean long term health issues with your heart, lungs and even your mental health.
    One of our Secret Service agents that caught the covid doing their job of protecting, lost a leg on one side and a toe on the other side of his body.

    As Mr. Anderson and Ms. Duba say, be careful, wear a mask and demand to get your shot.

  3. jerry 2020-12-29

    Pandemic? Not in Rapid City. Hang on dudes and dudetts, it broncin time. Ever get the idea that no one gives a damn…until their on a ventilator?

    “The rodeo world is ready to roundup 2020 and put it out to pasture, but not before holding one more competition Thursday at the James Kjerstad Event Center in Rapid City.

    After just a couple of weeks of planning, rodeo promoter Rorey Lemmel will present “Buck 2020,” featuring high-level competition in bareback riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding and bull riding to help ring in the new year.”

  4. Moses6 2020-12-29

    way to go linda

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-12-29

    Jerry, uff da—would you say that Rapid City has a higher percentage of anti-masker denialist legislators who will bring their rodeo coronavirus to Pierre?

    It’s not hard to legislate remotely. I maintain it has distinct advantages, with lobbyists unable to serial-buttonhole and overfeed and overbooze legislators, and with the Governor not able to summon legislators to her office for tongue-lashings and arm-twistings. I’d suggest it could be easier to keep legislators honest and responsive to their home folks if they legislated from home.

  6. jerry 2020-12-29

    Yeah, Rapid City sucks and not thru masks either on this. The mayor couldn’t govern this bunch of knotheads, too many special interests. There is no county leadership or anything resembling a leader. There will be mass chaos when the vaccine will be available so it’s best to order it on Amazon, free shipping no doubt. Geesh, we started out so good and then old dumbarse, Loopy Flo and the vinegar gal old Tonchi the basket weaver got into the act. When you see these witches in person, you just know the ugly stick done beat them close to death. Gwaaad if anyone should wear a mask it’s these two old hags.

    Now this, we are on our own again. 1/21/21 cannot come soon enough.

    “Meanwhile, Operation Warp Speed is set to miss its first goal — 20 million Americans vaccinated by the end of the year. According to an estimate from NBC news, only around 2 million Americans have received the first shot in the two-course regime as of Tuesday.

    State and local officials have been clamoring for funding to distribute the vaccine for months. Meanwhile, experts say that the distribution effort is currently at the simplest phase, sending shots out to the relatively static populations that work or reside in long term care facilities or those medical workers who are fighting the virus.” trump says it’s up to the states to take care of the vaccine so that way he has someone to blame the failure on. Now we wait on the new wave coming. It’s in Colorado right now so it will probably be here right soon like. Lovely.

  7. jerry 2020-12-29

    While legislating at home, when will consideration be made for the clear cutting of the Black Hills for coffins? When will that proposal hit the cabal in Pierre?

    LOS ANGELES—On Saturday, a 53-foot refrigerated trailer was delivered to Continental Funeral Homes on East Beverly Boulevard in East Los Angeles. Alongside it sits a 20-foot trailer that Magda Maldonado began renting in the summer, but that no longer provides the room the 58-year-old funeral director needs for the volume of dead arriving from one day to the next.

    “No funeral home around here has a container large enough to accommodate the number of people who are dying from COVID,” she told the Daily Beast.”

    Things are not so good folks.

    “Wood is getting scarce, especially pine, which is the most inexpensive,” said Auriel ‘Guero’ Suarez, owner of the Universal Caskets Manufacturing Corporation in East Los Angeles. “In 52 years in the business, I’ve never seen anything like this.”

    The normally bustling Mexican American community of East L.A. offers a window into a surging crisis that has put the nation’s most populous county on the verge of catastrophe. Residents are calling around frantically for somehow or somewhere to bury their loved ones, and the people serving them are struggling to keep pace.”

  8. grudznick 2020-12-29

    Mr. jerry, the snarling visages of the two ladies you mention, Ms. Florence and Ms. Tonchi, can be intimidating even to the gnarliest of us old fellows who kick about these parts. I could agree with you about the masks, only my own twisted maw and disheveled appearance isn’t much more to brag about.

    grudznick would urge you to stay home with your windows open and your shades drawn, and have your food and beverages delivered regularly. In our great city there are many fine establishments that do take out food. Stay safe, Mr. jerry, and in your dwelling where you don’t need to worry about others not wearing masks made from napkins.

  9. Scott 2020-12-29

    Just read a story in the AAN that more than 20 SD lawmakers have contracted covid. No surprise if you look at the chamber during Noem budget address earlier this month. I saw very few masks being worn.

    With 1 in 5 lawmakers having contracted covid, that means these lawmakers are not to good at keeping themselves safe, especially when you consider a good portion of these lawmakers are older and in the high risk groups.

    Rather than Haugaard pushing to have everyone show up, he should be doing the exact opposite and setting a good example of how to behave during a pandemic. By behave, I mean changing how you operate to limit contacts and keep the virus from spreading. We are in a pandemic and this requires that we all change how we work, shop, attend events, and so forth.

    The lawmakers have had 10 months to come up with a plan to operate during a pandemic and it sounds like they just kicked the can down the road so to speak. Most legislators should be allowed to work from home or they could gather in small groups near there homes. Leader in each body should be the only ones in Pierre to keep numbers as low as possible in the capital.

    Maybe Haugaard thinks the elected leaders should show up, but how about he consider all the workers in the capital complex that are needlessly exposed to a higher exposure level due to all the extra people in Pierre. Nobody seems to care and I just do not comprehend why people think life should go on as normal during a pandemic.

  10. Mark Anderson 2020-12-29

    Jeez I’ve checked for two days and no reporting on deaths in So Dak. Now Oregon is just ahead of you.

  11. jerry 2020-12-29

    Speak for yourself Mr. grudznick. I am cognitive of my looks and wear a mask to protect the public from what they see and for what I may breathe. I shudder to think of your taste in those two evil beings who care not one tiny bit of their fellows and only for their own political gain. Be careful on how you tread sir, else you get caught up in their web.

    No shutters, and of course, too cold for the windows to be open. By all means, dine in the restaurants of your choice. I’ve not really cared for them, even in the best of times. Me, I prefer a Nathan’s Hot Dog, to go, plain, and I take two napkins for when I may need them. Never know when that may be, but stay prepared for that time. No, you may keep your fine dining sir, and sleep by the open window, dreaming of your crones.

  12. jerry 2020-12-29

    Congressman elect, 41 years old, dies from Covid, young man didn’t even get to be sworn in.

    Rep.-elect Luke Letlow (R-La.) has died from coronavirus, multiple sources confirmed Tuesday evening. He was 41.

    Letlow, who announced on Dec. 18 that he tested positive for Covid-19, had been in the intensive care unit at Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport.”https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/29/luke-letlow-covid-congress-452218

    Representative Duba has it right. Too bad the rest of South Dakota’s legislators don’t heed the warnings and continue to follow the dud we have as a governor.

  13. grudznick 2020-12-29

    Mr. jerry, be ye vocabularily challenged? I have not danced with Ms. Tonchi in years. Well before Mr. Howie overgodded on all of us in Rapid City.

  14. DaveFN 2020-12-30

    Let’s BUCK 2020!!
    Doors Open 5 pm
    Calcutta 6 pm
    Bares, Broncs & Bulls BUCK @ 7:30pm
    Adults:$20 (kids 12 & under FREE), tickets available at https://www.centralstatesfair.com/events/2020/buck-20202
    The musical act still to be announced!
    Come out for some fun at your favorite place the Event Center.

    “Buck COVID, let’s have a ball”

    Central States Fair

  15. John Dale 2020-12-30

    I’m really looking forward to when the common cold is eradicated and we’ll only need 10-12 vaccines per year .. and nobody can reproduce.

    MRNA?

    Did you read about this stuff?

  16. leslie 2020-12-30

    New year prediction: Noem leadership contribution to a safe pandemic 2021 legislative session.

    She’ll start wearing… … …tactical camouflage caps dog whistling militia again because Sen Kelly Leoffler does.

  17. leslie 2020-12-30

    Laurie Garrett Retweeted

    @Reuters

    37m
    Vaccinated US nurse contracts COVID-19, expert says Pfizer shot needed more time to work….

    cc: ryan

  18. Dicta 2020-12-30

    Great. John Dale is here to tell us why doctors, chemists, biochemists, molecular biologists, statisticians and epidemiologists are all wrong and he and a collection of internet posters are all right. Education = brainwashing, mirite?

  19. Donald Pay 2020-12-30

    Unlike Republican legislators Rep. Duba has more than a single digit IQ and has empathy. We are finding out which legislators care about their fellow humans, and which don’t. Not only is Duba taking care of her own health, but she’s protecting others by doing her job remotely. She’s a hero. Others should follow her lead. Of course the greedy socialist bastards you call legislators want to show up in Pierre to collect padded government checks, get socialist health care and rub genitals with fat cat lobbyists. If they work from home they have to rub their own genitals and we pay them less. Ain’t that an improvement?

  20. Sioux Falls resident 2020-12-30

    Duba may have a legal remedy for Haugaard’s response to her workplace health concerns. The head of the S.D. Municipal League proved Haugaard’s behavior violated her rights a while back.

  21. Jake 2020-12-30

    Duba doesn’t suffer from a common GOP disease–FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)– not being in the legislature looking really serious on TV debating the serious issues of our state’s concern starting with “how COULD they vote in legalizing marijuana ?”-or -can we pass another restriction on those silly women that might think they want an abortion, or why on earth would we want to expand Medicaid to those people?
    Distant legislating will work every bit as good or better than distance education in schools, or working from home as so many have done.

  22. chris 2020-12-30

    I guess I don’t trust anything from Lee Schoebeck after he said Paul Erickson was duping those russians.

  23. grudznick 2020-12-30

    Mr. Pay, do those in the legislatures get free socialist health care? I would hate to think that is true. Most would disagree with you about Ms. Duba’s IQ, although I suspect you are right about her Empathic Rating of Love (ERL). Why must you drag the innocent lobbists and their genitals into this? I bet you if more follow Ms. Duba’s legislate-by-robot/computer method, the lobbists will do the lobbying the same way.

  24. leslie 2020-12-30

    Add to 7:47 above;

    @ossoff
    US Senate candidate, GA….

    Also, Kelly Loeffler campaigned with a klansman. Twitter

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