Just as one of my readers notes his surprise that "We haven't heard more from Stacey this session," the Fulton Fulminator strikes again, this time with a curious coalition challenging last week's House approval of HB 1060, the lengthy revision of the FY 2013 General Appropriations Act. The Governor has salted HB 1060 with all sorts of goodies, like his five-million-dollar French cheese subsidy (no, really, I'm not making that phrase up).
Today, pursuant to Joint Rule 1-10, Rep. Stace Nelson (R-19/Fulton) filed a dissent and protest against the passage of HB 1060. Essentially, the protest says that the inclusion of the Governor's French cheese subsidy and funding for his big criminal justice reform initiative take end runs around the state constitution.
You can view a scan of the original document, with ten signatures, nine of which I can read. I transcribe the full text below (taking liberty to add hyperlinks and paragraph breaks):
DISSENT AND PROTEST PASSAGE OF HB 1060
Pursuant to Joint Rule 1-10, we, the undersigned Representatives, do hereby respectfully dissent and protest the passage of HB 1060. The Constitution of the State of South Dakota, Article XII, Section 2, states that the general appropriation bill shall embrace nothing but appropriations for ordinary expenses of the executive, legislative, and judicial departments of the state, the current expenses of state institutions, interest on the public debt, and for common schools. All other appropriations are to be made by separate bills and require a two-thirds majority to pass.
Several items in HB 1060 do not meet the constitutional criteria specified above for measures to be included in the general appropriations bill. Specifically, HB 1060 includes one-time unordinary appropriations for five million dollars on page 2, line 7 of the original printed bill to repay monies related to a statute rejected by the voters in 2012's Referred Law Number 14. The bill also includes one-time unordinary appropriations of approximately six million dollars to implement provisions of 2013's SB 70. HB 1060 was passed even after this information was provided to the body during official debate.
We therefore believe that the passage of 1060 is in contravention of the Constitution, is null and void, promotes a practice that undermines the very foundation of our State Constitution, and thus weakens the rule of law. We respectfully request that this dissent be printed in the House Journal as required by Joint Rule 1-10.
Now for the curious coalition of signatories:
- Rep. Stace Nelson (R-19/Fulton)
- Rep. Lance Russell (R-30/Hot Springs)
- Rep. Dan Kaiser (R-3/Aberdeen)
- Rep. Julie Bartling (D-21/Gregory)
- Rep. Kevin Killer (D-27/Pine Ridge)
- Rep. Bernie Hunhoff (D-18/Yankton)
- Rep. Spencer Hawley (D-7/Brookings)
- Rep. Betty Olson (R-28B/Prairie City)
- Rep. Peggy Gibson (D-22/Huron)
- Rep. Rev. Karen Soli (D-15/Sioux Falls)
That's 4 arch-conservative R's and 6 big D's, including 3 D's—Bartling, Gibson, and Hawley—who voted for HB 1060 on its pass through the House.
Now signing this protest may have little real cost or benefit. The House leadership allowed the protest to be printed in today's House journal, putting ten members on the record saying the House has acted unconstitutionally, and there that protest will sit, having no technical impact on HB 1060's continued movement through the chamber.
But it shows, in a small way, that Rep. Nelson is still willing to rattle the apple cart, and that, unlike some Republicans who consider one-party rule their South Dakota birthright, he is not just willing to talk to Democrats but able to get them rattle with him.
Related: As another eager commenter notes, Rep. Nelson bucked the GOP Tuesday in House Local Government and joined Democrats Soli and Kathy Tyler (D-4/Big Stone City) in trying to kill SB 155, the Big Ag road subsidy for new CAFOs, before the committee kicked the bill to House Appropriations. 25 comments