Legislators have said at Spearfish crackerbarrels and elsewhere that the 2013 Session has been marked by significantly more comity than the 2012 session. Our elected officials are just trying to get along.
Messrs. Montgomery and Mercer note that whatever comity may have broken out this year hasn't helped the legislators reach a final budget any more smoothly. Our legislators may have to work Saturday to hammer out their differences over how much money they think we're sending them to spend.
Meanwhile, I turn to one small personal story that suggests not everyone in Pierre is playing nicely. A circumspect reader in Pierre says that after what appears to have been a contentious GOP caucus meeting, Rep. David Novstrup (R-3/Aberdeen) came out nipping at Rep. Stace Nelson's (R-19/Fulton) heels. Novstrup followed Nelson to Nelson's seat on the House floor rather forcefully denouncing Nelson's lack of support for the Speaker and the GOP leadership.
Believe it or not, Nelson appears not to have threatened to eat Novstrup alive; Nelson's sternest words to his Republican colleague appear to have been along the lines of "Get the hell away from me." This confrontation ended when another legislator intervened and encouraged Novstrup to back off. It sounds like a couple of fellas are ready to be home.
In related news, Rep. Nelson's dissent on Senate Bill 235 has indeed been printed in today's House Journal. SB 235, the omnibus economic development bill that Nelson and a few colleagues consider unconstitutional, came out of conference committee and passed both chambers with only single-digit nays. The House and Senate will rush through more decisions tomorrow... and possibly Saturday.