To no one’s surprise, legislators have not mustered the two-thirds majorities in both chambers to call a Special Session to enact Governor Kristi Noem’s election-season food-tax-repeal promise.
According to a memo Bob Mercer got from the Legislative Research Council, as of last week Wednesday, four Senators and twenty Representatives had signed petitions calling for a Special Session. Getting the band together without a gubernatorial decree requires 24 Senators and 47 Representatives.
Legislators willing to go to Pierre right now and repeal the food tax include ten Democrats—that’s the entire caucus except for Representative Ryan Cwach (D-18/Yankton). The thirteen House Republicans who have asked for a Special Session—Aylward, Dennert, Haugaard, Howard, Kevin Jensen, Phil Jensen, Milstead, Overweg, Pischke, Randolph, Soye, Wiese, and Speaker Gosch—all voted for the food tax repeal that Governor Noem publicly opposed back in March.
25 House Republicans who supported the food tax repeal in March—Beal, Blare, Chaffee, Derby, Deutsch, Drury, Finck, Fitzgerald, Goodwin, Gross, Hansen, Karr, Ladner, Marty, May, Mills, Mulally, Perry, Sue Peterson, Reimer, Schneider, St. John, Vasgaard, Weis, and Wink—have not so far been willing to reconvene this fall to reconsider that wise Democratic tax policy.