March 6, 2017
Greetings! As mentioned, nine of us representatives in the House, Frye-Mueller and myself included, 3 senators including Sen. Lance Russell, wrote the attorney general in regard to the constitutionality of vehicle bills. Well, Marty Jackley made a ruling that they are not unconstitutional (darn!). The legislature as a body could pass a bill stopping vehicle bills in the future (not all bad).
This leads into SB176, you guessed it, a vehicle bill. This bill was introduced in the Senate on Feb. 3rd, the last day that bills could be introduced. It was 32 words long, with the thrust being, “the protection of the safety of the citizens of SD.” By Feb. 15th, this 32-word bill had become a 1500-word bill, with 7 sections to it. (Look up SD176 at www.sdlegislature.gov . This bill has passed the senate, 21 yeas and 14 nays, (Sen. Russell was a nay). What concerns me is that this bill is aimed at protestors against the Keystone Pipeline, once it starts in west river and the Dakota Access pipeline, once it starts east river.
For the record, I’m for pipelines and truly believe it is the most efficient and environmentally safe way to transport oil. I’m not for adding additional laws on the books when we have more than enough laws now. This hog-housed vehicle bill, SB176, has language that gives the governor the authority to declare public safety zones, and make it a felony for anyone who trespasses in these zones more than twice in 2 years. There is also language that no more than 20 people can gather near these safety zones.
I’m sure the governor’s intentions are good, as he’s trying to get out ahead and not let what happened in North Dakota happen in South Dakota. For this I applaud his efforts. I’m just not willing to give him authority to create safety zones and turn peaceful protestors into felons.
Monday, March 6th, starts the last week of the 92nd legislative session, so SD176 has to be voted on in the House, and if I have anything to do with it, defeated. It will take 35 other representatives to vote with me to stop this bill. In my opinion, it is government overreach big time.
We do go back to Pierre for one day, March 27, to address any vetoes the governor has signed. He has gone public and said that he would veto HB1072 and HB1156, Constitutional Carry and Capitol Carry, respectively.
A few potpourri items: At the Chamber Crackerbarrell, in Rapid City March 4th, the question was asked if the legislature would be in favor of a state income tax.?! After this question was asked, the crowd erupted in applause! The other Rapid City legislators did their best tap dance, talked about raising 4-1/2 cent sales tax to 5 cents, but didn’t throw out the state income tax idea. I took the mic and said that not only was I totally against the state income tax, but that as long as I was in the legislature and still breathing, it would never pass!! I know I probably came across a bit strong, but give me a break!! This governor with the approval of the last two legislative sessions, has raised taxes $335 million. Go back to 2015 and read SD1. It will make your blood boil!! My point is that if you keep feeding this alligator, it will only grow bigger, and bigger, and it will never be satisfied.
The reason I ran to represent the citizens of District 30 was to rein in government, not grow it. Thanks for reading, and thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent you in Pierre. Until next week…
Tim R. Goodwin, Representative, District 30