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E-Board Pre-Empts Special Session with Stimulus Committee

Governor Kristi Noem couldn’t rally support from her own Republican Legislative leaders to come spend a couple extra days in Pierre shouting at transgender kids. Now she can’t even get them to assemble under the pretext of reviewing the new massive coronavirus stimulus package President Joe Biden is sending our way. The Legislature’s Executive Board voted yesterday to form a committee to advise the Governor on how to handle the American Rescue Plan instead of making all 105 legislators truck out to Pierre to exercise their rubber stamp:

“It seems likely we will not have a special session in June,” House Speaker Spencer Gosch said Thursday afternoon, as the Legislature’s Executive Board wrapped up its meeting.

The Glenham Republican’s announcement came minutes after most of the board’s 15 members endorsed creating a special committee to advise Governor Kristi Noem on how the latest round of federal coronavirus aid should be spent.

Senate President Pro Tem Lee Schoenbeck suggested the committee, which will have 10 members. The Watertown Republican said it would help the Legislature avoid having to repeatedly return every time the federal government issued more guidance on using the funding.

“To give the administration guidance, so that we don’t have a special session, and that’s exactly where it came from in the discussion, and I would tell you the governor was part of the discussion,” Schoenbeck said.

…The panel would have Gosch and Schoenbeck; Senate Republican leader Gary Cammack of Union Center, Senate Democrat leader Troy Heinert of Mission, House Republican leader Kent Peterson of Salem and House Democrat leader Jamie Smith of Sioux Falls; appropriations co-chairs Senator Jean Hunhoff of Yankton and Representative Chris Karr of Sioux Falls, who are Republicans; and two appropriators who are on the Executive Board, Senator Ryan Maher of Isabel and Representative Hugh Bartels of Watertown, who are Republicans [Bob Mercer, “House Speaker: No Special Session in June,” KELO-TV, 2021.04.22].

Yeah, who wants a Special Session in June, anyway? As Dennis Daugaard said, June is when everyone goes to the lake… although it would be pretty cool if Senator Schoenbeck could arrange a Special Off-Site Session at Lake Kampeska: committees sit in beach chairs, Speaker and Pro-Tem chosen in a water-skiing contest….


  1. mike from iowa 2021-04-23

    although it would be pretty cool if Senator Schoenbeck could arrange a Special Off-Site Session at Lake Kampeska: committees sit in beach chairs, Speaker and Pro-Tem chosen in a water-skiing contest….Legislators getting sick from E-Coli and fecal coliform bacteria from massive upstream cafos….

  2. Curt 2021-04-23

    There is a LOT more water – and better fishing in the Pierre area. No need to invade Kampeska.

  3. Porter Lansing 2021-04-23

    Do the Schoenbeck’s have a beachfront lot? I thought they built on the other side of the highway and used their neighbor’s or public beaches.
    Cory, you’d know. Don’t you spend time at “The Lake” with the President pro tem?

  4. Mark Anderson 2021-04-23

    Curt, they can also play great golf in Agar.

  5. Donald Pay 2021-04-23

    Well, now it’s getting serious. Noem may need to push harder and faster for her special session. I’m seeing news stories that Caitlyn Jenner “is running….”

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-04-23

    Mike, maybe a Special Session next to a strongly polluted CAFO lake would encourage reconsideration of the merger of Agriculture and DENR.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-04-23

    Now, Curt, you know my long-term plot is to move the capital to get it out of the company town and expose it to more scrutiny.

  8. Arlo Blundt 2021-04-23

    well…I think the Republican leadership has heard enough from their Governor for one calendar year. It may be the leadership has heard enough from some of the wingnuts in their party and don’t want to provide an opportunity for them to identify various “emergencies” which have to addressed in special session.They’ve scapegoated, pummeled the poor, been hysterical and apocalyptic enough. We get the message, and its pathetic.

  9. V 2021-04-24

    Gee, as a teacher, we had no choice what our schedule was even in the summer. I gave up many a family reunion in June to attend mandatory educational workshops, further my education and earn those required credits to maintain a certificate, teach summer school, or work on curriculum.

    As public servants on 10 month contracts, our job titles were specific, however job descriptions always ended with “additional duties.” And most professionals who work with children will do whatever it takes to help them succeed.

    As public servants, state representatives should do no less. If they can’t physically meet in Pierre, they need to do so remotely then. Lazy bums, there’s work to be done!!!!

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-04-24

    V, I’m all for analogies between legislators and teachers as public servants… but in this case, I’ll contend that calling the Legislature for a Special Session isn’t the same as calling in teachers for additional duties. If the Governor called a Special Session, sure, legislators would be legally obliged to come. However, the Governor can’t require that they do anything in that Special Session. Gosch and Schoenbeck have evidently counted noses and made clear to the Governor that they don’t have the votes to pass the campaign-posing bills she really wants and that they aren’t going to work hard to drum up those votes. In this case, it’s not that the GOP leaders are shirking a duty; they’re saying they’ve done their Constitutional duty with the regular Session and don’t need to waste taxpayer dollars convening for another Session in which Noem might have gotten more of her agenda passed if she had stuck around Pierre and done her job instead of flying to Texas and Florida so often to raise money and campaign for 2024.

  11. V 2021-04-24

    Wow Cory, thanks for that clear explanation. I was really confused.

  12. Curt 2021-04-24

    A “Special” Session is warranted when unexpected developments overtake normal planning and administration of government. Failure to address issues and conditions which existed throughout the duration of the Session that concluded last month does not meet the test to qualify for a “Special” Session.

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