South Dakota is far too conservative for its own good. But it's not completely, madly, irremediably conservative. Here are some decent votes made by South Dakota legislators to knock down dumb bills:

  1. Rep. Brian Liss's (R-13/Sioux Falls) attempt to play Gov. Scott Walker got no love in House Commerce and Energy today. HB 1261, a proposal to strip public workers of collective bargaining rights. No one showed up to testify in favor; five good folks, including Rapid City mayor Sam Kooiker and Watertown educator Steve O'Brien, climbed the Capitol steps to testify against the bill. (I know Steve O'Brien: if he disagrees with you, you should just surrender.) Even Liss's hard-core conservative colleague Rep. Lora Hubbel (R-9/Sioux Falls) joined in the unanimous vote to table HB 1261
  2. Rep. Liss's only other bright idea this session, giving public handouts to home school families, got snuffed out yesterday. House Appropriations voted unanimously to defer HB 1215 to the mythical 41st day.
  3. Rep. Liss's physical and philosophical neighbor Rep. Jenna Haggar ("I"-15/Sioux Falls) ignored well-established facts and floated HB 1272, based on the fallacious contention that we can make health insurance better by stripping state regulatory power and selling policies across state lines. Nine out of thirteen members of the committee said bonk on that idea, as did the state's insurance regulating agency and major insurers Dakotacare and Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Note that: even the insurers don't buy this plan.