Never mind January Jones's vacuous comments to Jon Stewart. South Dakota is catching grief from all quarters on the Web for the uninformed, xenophobic, deadly, and dumb legislation its lawmakers are proposing (Update: We still have no budget!). I hear numerous Facebook and Tweet-pals say things like "That's why I'm glad I moved away."

It pains me to hear my fair prairie paradise so maligned. Of course, it pains me to hear such malignment motivated by certain legislators. So permit me to try to fight that anti-South Dakota sentiment by pointing out some of the bad bills our Legislature has had the good sense to kill:

  1. HB 1198: Rep. Manny Steele's (R-12/Sioux Falls) retread of Arizona's mostly unconstitutional immigration bill was so bad we had to kill it twice... and we did! First House State Affairs killed it on Valentine's Day. Then Rep. Steele called "Smoke-out!" to bring the bill back to life on the House floor Tuesday. The smokeout was extinguished quickly by a large margin, 19--48 (Good call, Patty!).
  2. SB 201 and SB 170: Both of Senator Dan Lederman's (R-16/Dakota Dunes) Sharia-hysteria bills got killed in committee yesterday, thanks in part to testimony by Winfred native and fellow Bulldog alum Erin McIntyre Menkhaus (Erin's folks Linda and Neal listened proudly to her testimony on the Web yesterday---thanks, SDPB!). Even Senate Majority Leader Russell Olson (R-8/Wentworth) found the brain power to vote these bad bills down. (Alas, he still hasn't figured out how to unblock me from his official Twitter feed.)
  3. HB 1165: Our legislators also had the good sense to kill Rep. Lora Hubbel's (R-11/Sioux Falls) effort to start the next Civil War by criminalizing the enforcement of federal law in South Dakota. This ill-advised health-reform nullification bill was unanimously rejected by House State Affairs.
  4. HB 1158: House Local Government killed this bill that would have made it even harder for Independents to run for office by moving their filing deadline back six weeks.
  5. HB 1197: Rep. Brian C. Liss (R-13/Sioux Falls) wanted to insert partisan politics into your local town council and school board elections. House Local Government wisely said "No, thanks."
  6. SB 138: House State Affairs tabled the proposal to replace the Electoral College with a national popular vote, a proposal that gives folks a chance to pretend they are political science professors (just another day at the office for us bloggers!) but doesn't get us any closer to solving real policy problems. The bill fizzled in part due to snarky partisan testimony by some guy from Michigan (more on that later!).
  7. HB 1218: House Judiciary killed this proposal to outlaw surrogate motherhood. Now if we can just get them to walk back their vote on coercing women to get non-medical consultations before abortions, we'll be set!

See? South Dakota's not so bad! Come back! See Mount Rushmore! Enjoy the lakes!

Update 22:39 CST: Bonus Good Gosh Darn Sense! House Judiciary today tabled HJR 1004, the third jewel of anti-Islamic hysteria in our legislative hopper. Alas, I was sort of looking forward to seeing jduges banned from considering those darned "foreign religious codes," like Judaism, Christianity....