No need to keep buying Lee Schoenbeck drinks: the Senate President Pro-Tem’s resistance to rehashing a transgender athlete ban has forced bully-Governor Kristi Noem to flip-flop again. She said she would call a Special Session to get the Legislature to pass a satisfactory bill dealing with what she considers the pressing crisis of transgender females trying to play on schools’ female sports teams, but now she’s chickening out, since she lacks the political skill to get the Legislature behind her after the mess she made in March:
The Republican governor’s office held a conference call Wednesday with legislative leaders to discuss summoning them back to Pierre for a special session, which would also include discussions on how to spend over $1 billion that is flowing into the state from a federal COVID-19 rescue package and changes to a voter-passed medical marijuana bill set to go into effect July 1. She pitched tackling a ban on transgender girls and women from sports leagues that match their gender identity in two bills, addressing collegiate sports and high school sports separately.
However, Republican legislative leaders like House Speaker Spencer Gosch said transgender athletes won’t be addressed this year, pointing out the move would die in the Senate. Gosch supported a bill that was passed by the Legislature last month, but it died after Noem vetoed parts of it [Stephen Groves, “Noem Pitches Transgender Sports Ban; Lawmakers Say Not Now,” AP, 2021.04.08].
School boards and administrators say they are in no hurry to implement Noem’s order.
“Really, in a nutshell, all we are going to tell our folks to do is stay the course of what we have right now,” said Rob Monson, the director of the School Administrators of South Dakota.
…Cynthia Mickelson, the board president for the Sioux Falls School District, said she would recommend waiting to act on Noem’s order until after the Legislature’s special session. She felt it didn’t make sense to adopt a policy that could be upended in a matter of months.
She said that after watching Monday’s developments, which started with the House rejecting Noem’s partial veto and culminated with the governor’s orders, she sent out a single word Tweet: “Nothingburger.”
…“The governor has no ability to create law. These don’t have the effect of law,” Republican House Speaker Spencer Gosch said of Noem’s orders. “This is just her sending out a letter saying I’d like you to do this.”
He added that Noem’s office has communicated an evolving stance on the issue and that a “lack of preparation on her part doesn’t create a sense of urgency” for lawmakers to act [Stephen Groves, “Schools Grapple with Governor’s Order on Transgender Sports,” AP, 2021.03.31].
Speaker Gosch’s assessment of Noem’s failure to plan emphasizes that Kristi Noem’s saving grace is the same as that of the loser-tyrant she clubs with at Mar-a-Lago: the only thing that keeps her from turning South Dakota into a completely oppressive regime is her incompetence.