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Nesiba Ready to Talk Paid Family Leave by Reviving 2017 Bill Rejected by Noem’s Republicans?

Following her embarrassing, evasive performance on CNN Sunday, some outlets tried to put an optimistic spin Noem’s robotic ramblings by saying she had said she would support paid family leave policies for all workers. But KELO-TV gets the headline right, noting that all she really said on paid family leave was that “the time is right” to talk about paid family leave, not that she would propose or push for any legislation.

If Noem meant what little she said (and meaning in Noem’s oral emissions is like intelligent life on Mars), she would talk to Senator Reynold Nesiba, who in 2017 proposed Senate Bill 150, a bill to requiring all employers in South Dakota to grant employees who’d been on the job full-time for a year up to four weeks of parental leave at full pay and benefits. NARAL and the Presentation Sisters testified for SB 150; South Dakota’s business lobbyists and angry-dad Rep. Tom Pischke (who likes to portray himself as an advocate for parental rights) opposed it. Then-Congresswoman Kristi Noem was still drying off from the Polar Plunge in Watertown, but her fellow Republicans on Senate Commerce and Energy all voted to kill Nesiba’s pro-family proposal.

Senator Nesiba says he’ll be glad to offer Noem or Jamie Smith a chance to sign a family leave bill next year:

Nesiba plans to bring a similar bill back to Pierre in 2023 if re-elected in District 15.

“If we’re going to change the law, as we have with the Supreme Court where we are going to… force people to carry pregnancies to term who don’t want to, at a minimum, then we should at least be giving them paid time off,” Nesiba said.

…Nesiba said his proposed legislation would take into account that smaller businesses with fewer than 50 employees might not be able to financially handle paid leave for their employees.

“I would be open to a call about not having this applied to, you know, just small firms that simply would be unable to afford that,” Nesiba said. “But for any larger firms that have 50 or more employees, this is a benefit that that they should be offering” [Jazzmine Jackson, “Noem: ‘Time Is Right’ for Paid Family Leave Conversations,” KELO-TV, 2022.07.06].

You know, Senator, the Governor said the time “is” right, not the time “will be” right to discuss paid family leave. If now is the time, why wait until 2023? Noem said she wants a Special Session later this year to “help mothers”; why not submit a paid family leave bill right away, before the election, so we can have the “discussion” Kristi says we need to have? Give Governor Noem a chance to resolve her ramblings into a real promise and turn her Republican Senators around on paid family leave!


  1. All Mammal 2022-07-07 11:07

    Divvy out some of those fat, dirty wads of dead presidents yielded from the SD trusts to new mothers, you know, to preserve and protect that sacred relationship between mother and NEWBORN, so she can afford a peaceful bonding before having to return right away to the old salt mines- so mama and babies don’t starve. C’mon, Governor Kristi. Quit being so stingy with the heap of oligarch dough! Spread it to your indentured mothers.
    And what about those checks mysteriously sent out, sans any approval from legislative spending committee, for daycare providers Gov Kristi claimed she didn’t need oversight to decide what happened with million$ of covid federal relief monies? I only know of daycare providers putting for sale signs up. The names scribbled on the pay to the order of line must be straight out of the governor’s bone book. Those Biden bucks would sure have helped bolster Noem’s claims to care about low income indentured mothers. The feds need to attach stipulations onto every cent they deposit into SD’s panhandler cup.

  2. cibvet 2022-07-07 17:41

    Maybe the $600,000 of covid relief funds that was funneled to the noem”ranch” was used to set up a daycare.
    I guess we will never know as no one wants to discuss the matter.

  3. Arlo Blundt 2022-07-07 23:36

    Paid Family Medical Leave is definitely a wedge issue for Democrats….unlike subsidized Day Care, Family Leave affects everyone. Voters in South Dakota need to understand how common paid leave is in other states. It has become an assumed fringe benefit…if you don’t have it, you are on the defensive explaining why you don’t have it.

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