Rep. Stace Nelson (R-19/Fulton) is peeing in the punch at the bipartisan kumbayah party being held for the still-morphing Senate Bill 235, the omnibus corporate welfare/ education/ infrastructure/ housing bill. He tried Tuesday to bring the bill into conformity with the constitution, which says that no law shall embrace more than one subject. But as we saw with the Governor's criminal justice omnibus bill (this year's SB 70) and the big education-wrecking bill we referred to death (last year's HB 1234), no one in Pierre really cares about that argument.
House Speaker Brian Gosch (R-32/Rapid City) rejected Rep. Nelson's attempt to divide SB 235 into five separate bills, which would have defeated the whole bipartisan purpose of wedding things Republicans like to things Democrats like to pass the whole package and prevent a nasty referral of the same corporate welfare proposals that South Dakotans killed last year. That rejection precipitated this yummy exchange between Majority Leader David Lust (R-34/Rapid City) and Rep. Nelson:
Bill sponsor David Lust responds to Nelson’s actions: “I commend the Speaker for his flexibility and generosity in our time giving it to people who are clearly not prepared as we came to the floor today.”
Lust’s response clearly angers Representative Stace Nelson.
“It’s not this good representative’s fault that we’ve got a hobgoblin Frankenstein monster of a bill with as much pork in it as possible to present to this body today,” Nelson says. “Each one of these items, as we know for a fact—there’s separate bills already out there that have been combined into this. Bottom line is, South Dakota does not allow omnibus bills” [Victoria Wicks, "Legislator Says Business Development Bill Unconstitutional," SDPB, 2013.03.05].
Rep. Nelson pressed his dissent on SB 235 by filing another formal dissent and protest yesterday. Unlike his dissent and protest of cheese-subsidizing HB 1060, Rep. Nelson's SB 235 protest carries no Democrat signatures, just eight fellow members of recalcitrant mostly rump Republicans (but Brock Greenfield, too?). And unlike his earlier protest, his SB 235 harangue does not appear to have made the House Journal for March 6.
Hmm... with end of the session approaching, is the GOP leadership deciding they don't have time to follow the rules and deal with Rep. Nelson's hijinks?