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HB 1055: Make Governor Explain Executive Orders and Their Costs to Legislature

Representative Ernie Otten (R-6/Tea) evidently has a bee in his bonnet over transparency from the Governor’s Office. In addition to his House Bill 1041, which would prevent the Governor from hiding her settlements of illegal retaliation against state employees and silencing the agency chiefs she fires with non-disparagement clauses, Rep. Otten is also proposing House Bill 1055, which seeks more Legislative review of executive orders.

HB 1055 would allow the Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council to summon the Governor or the agency head in charge of executing a gubernatorial order to testify about that order. HB 1055 would require the Governor or agency chief to give the E-Board information on the nature and scope of the order, the circumstances requiring the order, and the obligations, restrictions, and costs to the public and/or private sectors the order may impose. This E-Board hearing would happen within fourteen days of the order’s issuance. Hearings on executive orders would be open to the public and allow for public testimony, in person and written, on the order.

Interestingly, HB 1055 would exclude one of the most controversial and impactful of Governor Noem’s orders so far, her order to bury the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Department of Agriculture. But such orders, authorized by Article 4 Section 8 of the South Dakota Constitution, are already subject to Legislative review and veto, so by exempting such orders, HB 1055 actually avoids redundancy without imperiling transparency.


  1. Mark Anderson 2022-01-10

    How can you expect to have Noem answer for anything? The answer will ring Freedom! Freedom from responsibility. Really like I’ve said before just call her killer. Australia which has been in the news because of a certain anti vaxxer has about hundred less dead people than South Dakota in covid deaths. It would be larger if they were all appropriately counted but I won’t go there. Let’s see, I could bring up the population difference but why bother. Come on folks, it gets tiring blending freedom with killing people. It’s well over time to point out that the huge number of deaths in this country is due to Republican negligence and embracing the anti vaxxers and they openly attack Australia and New Zealand for there success in preventing deaths.

  2. Arlo Blundt 2022-01-10

    Well…good for Representative Otten. It’s about time.

  3. John 2022-01-10

    I’m becoming a new-found fan of Rep Ernie Otten. Good order and discipline. Checks and balances. I’m from Missouri, SHOW ME.
    Thanks for sharing his proposed legislation.

    It’s my wish that another legislative proposal arises requiring the state senate to provide advice and consent for judicial nominees. Such measure vests another necessary background check, review, check and balance. Though in this one party state it will not affect the 95% (or more) composition of one party justices and judges.

  4. Vi Kingman 2022-01-10

    good bill. Maybe then Noem could explain her Executive order on CRT and what she announced today.
    “Gov. Noem Announces Legislation Blocking Action Civics.”

    I’ve never heard of Action Civics but I was reading about it and I guess Noem is against young people be involved in politics.

  5. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-01-10

    Nuthin’ to see here, folks. Move along, YOU! Yeah, YOU! Move along, ya heathen Democrats that think for themselves.
    Kristi Lynn is “too purty” for West River Reptilians to ever hold her accountable for her stupidity, theft, nepotism, lies, and general skankiness.
    I was at the Hot Springs Public Library this morning, where I unabashedly lingered outside the doors and heard a man and a woman extolling her attractiveness, and why she’s being persecuted for it.
    This is where I shake my hand and forefinger and declare “Mark my words.”

  6. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-01-10

    My bad. I think the woman tried to say “prosecuted” but uttered “proppetuded.”

  7. grudznick 2022-01-10

    Clearly Ms. Fairbank is on the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce membership committee, along with my good friend Bob.

  8. Porter Lansing 2022-01-10

    Cory’s explanation of HB 1041 clearly shows what can be construed as a double subject, by any GOP appointed Supreme Court judge.
    1. hiding her settlements of illegal retaliation against state employees
    2. silencing the agency chiefs she fires with non-disparagement clauses
    Of course, it’s not a double subject but it doesn’t have to be, in South Dakota juris prudence.
    It ain’t goin’ no where …

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-01-10

    Porter is right. HB 1041 could easily be read as two subjects and thus overturned in court if passed as is.

    HB 1055 might be harder to hang on the single-subject rule, but when something is infinitely malleable, we just have to roll it a bit longer…

    —addresses public and private costs
    —discusses Executive authority and Legislative oversight
    —opens door for Executive testimony and public comment

  10. grudznick 2022-01-10

    Mr. Otten, the elder, is not the sharpest quill in the pig.

    Or, he is doing the bidding of the heinous dark thinkers in Governor Noem’s office. This looks fine on the surface to these “transparent nerds” and the public is ignorant enough to swallow it. But what it really does is let the Governor, who might want more attention from the media in every way, issue executive orders which then REQUIRE the board of executives of the legislatures to attend her hearing where she can pontificate all over again about the orders, and get media coverage, and drag the board of executives into a meeting every week.

    Great fun, and no harm to the Governor’s orders done. She has heinous dark thinkers who prop Mr. Otten up, indeed.

  11. Richard Schriever 2022-01-11

    Ernie’s main agenda this entire last year has been “transparency” in governmental processes. That was the reason he (and Betty) cited when they petitioned to get the Lincoln County surtax for county road approvals overturned – it was “sneaked in” without sufficient public airing of grievance permitted in the Commission hearings. When I asked him about what he was going to do about the lack of transparency in the legislative process of hog housing bills, however – crickets -> Change the subject.

  12. Richard Schriever 2022-01-11

    That should read “county road improvements”.

  13. Richard Schriever 2022-01-11

    BTW grudz, Sen. Otten is the younger of the 2 Ernies. The elder Ernie was a life-long Democrat. Oh, and “Ernie” is NOT his legally given birth-name. He usurped it from papa when he started politicing. Why? ????? Perhaps he should be required by law to operate as a politician under the name he was given at birth (just like the requirement for transgender kids these folks are proposing). He is, and always will be trans-nominal in my mind.

    Hmmm, I seem to have g”otten” hold of a couple of your goats somehow.

  14. grudznick 2022-01-11

    Mr. Schriever, I was referring to young Mr. Herman Otten. There are at least two from the Clan Otten in the legislatures.

    I missed where you gOtten any goats as you had no bloggings above mine, but maybe there’s a whole lOtten of them gOtten poor old grudznick hasn’t spOtten as missing yet.

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