Votes to override vetoes on coronavirus funding, marijuana charge, and teenage consent bills fail

In a win for Governor Kristi Noem, three of the four vetoes she issued this session failed to receive 2/3rd support from the state legislature.
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 1:57 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Efforts to overturn vetoes on three major bills vetoed by Gov. Kristi Noem have failed in the legislature.

Lawmakers returned to the Capitol in Pierre Monday to consider a total of three vetoes issued by Noem. Noem vetoed four bills this legislative session, but an attempt to resurrect one failed during the regular legislative session.

On the Senate side, SB 151, a bill that would have allowed for the removal of some marijuana-related offenses from background checks, failed by a vote of 17 to 17.

Sen. Michael Rohl (R-Aberdeen) was the bill’s prime sponsor.

“I appreciate the Senators that stood with me in advocating for smarter criminal justice reform,” Rohl said in response to the veto being upheld. “It is disappointing the Governor wants to treat folks that provide liquor to minors better than folks with stand-alone cannabis charges.”

On the House side, lawmakers failed to override two vetoes of Noem’s. HB 1281, which would have given the Joint Committee of Appropriations (JCA) specific oversight over federal dollars going to new programs or “eligible uses.” JCA would have been able to release authorization before dollars could be spent on specific federal dollars as specified in the bill.

Noem had argued that the bill would create a full-time legislature and less transparency.

“The last couple weeks, the executive branch deployed every divisive tactic it could to attempt to have unilateral spending authority,” said Rep. Chris Karr (R-Sioux Falls), the bill’s prime sponsor. “The executive branch lied about HB 1281, and what it does and doesn’t do.”

The bill was brought as a compromise measure between the House and the Senate as a way to help usher the budget through. Despite having sailed through the House initially, it failed to collect the 47 votes necessary to become veto-proof.

“It is disappointing that several legislators don’t understand the role of the legislature and the expectation of their constituents,” Karr continued.

HB 1223, a bill that would have allowed pregnant minors to give consent for their own prenatal treatment, was also defeated. In her veto message, Noem explained that while the bill’s drafter had “good intentions,” she felt the bill was unnecessary.

“Physicians are currently able to treat minors without parental consent,” Noem explained. “That law has been on the books for nearly 40 years.”

The bill was meant to protect pregnant minors,” said Rep. Erin Healy (D-Sioux Falls), the bill’s prime sponsor. “I’m deeply disappointed that Governor Noem would prioritize parental control rather than allowing pregnant minors, whose parents are unavailable, absent, or abusive, and their unborn babies the the healthcare they need and deserve.”

The legislature’s failure to override any of the vetoes marked a victory for Noem in what has been a legislative session that has otherwise divided her and the legislature.

“Governor Noem is 4 for 4 on vetoes,” said Noem’s spokesperson Ian Fury. “We appreciate the legislature working with us through the process.”

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