In response to her embarrassing failure to line up a second for her marquee copycat abortion ban, Governor Kristi Noem complained that House State Affairs violated its somehow sacred guarantee that “every bill gets a hearing.” Her complaint is bogus, of course: House State Affairs was dealing with Noem’s draft language, not an actual bill. House State Affairs declined to turn her litigation-wrecking national campaign ploy into a bill.
But to balance things out, the Legislature is going to give one Noem bill two hearings. House Bill 1049 sought to build the Noem-endorsed Rapid City shooting range. House Agriculture and Natural Resources killed that poorly planned proposal last week. But on Monday, Senator David Johnson (R-33/Rapid City) revived the shooting range in Senate Bill 175. The language is exactly the same: $2.5 million from the general fund, another $2.5 million in spending authority for Game Fish and Parks to raise and spend private donations toward the projected $12 million total cost, and an emergency clause to ensure no one can refer the project to a vote and stop the GF&P from rolling donors and bulldozers this spring. (No word in the bill, though, about whether GF&P can really conscript the National Guard to build its bullet berms.)
SB 175 notably includes Senate President Pro-Tem and dealmaking king Lee Schoenbeck (R-5/Lake Kampeska), who, and avid shooter himself, may be looking to recreate his epic father-son tour of every golf course in the state with a comparable tour of every gun course in the state.
Noem’s shooting range will get its second chance from Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources, on which sits Senator Gary Cammack (R-29/Union Center), who represents the Meade County ranchers whose land and livelihood would be disrupted by this big-shot recreation project. Perhaps those ranchers will want to buy Cammack a drink this weekend and fill him in on whether Noem and GF&P done anything to improve their shooting-range plan since its first death two weeks ago.