Sanity, sweet sanity... from Republicans!

Rep. Anne Hajek (R-14/Sioux Falls) finds Senate Bill 128, which would protect bullying based on sexual orientation as a perfectly reasonable expression of religious freedom, just one example of "scary" legislation with which her party embarrasses South Dakota:

"The media picks up on these bills and people think about moving to South Dakota and they say, 'Oh, crazies are out there," Hajek said.

At Saturday's Legislative Coffee, Hajek spoke openly about the Senate Bill 128, calling the bill quote "scary." She isn't backing off those comments.

"Discrimination is so near and dear to my heart that I am very troubled that anyone would propose that legislation," Hajek said [Leland Steva, "Republican Lawmaker Disgusted with Legislation," KELOLand.com, 2014.02.03].

Thank you, Rep. Hajek.

Also earning kudos for Republican sanity is Sen. Ried Holien (R-5/Watertown), who responds to anti-SB 128 petitioner Alexis Krivoshik with this apology for sponsoring SB 128:

I want to apologize to everyone on this list that my name is attached to SB 128. In the first few weeks of session, we get presented hundreds of bills to sign on. In this case, I was in two different conversations and signed on thinking this was a different bill. Please look at my legislative history and see that I have no history of sponsoring similar bills.

I wish I had a better excuse, but I don't. I wish I could remove my name from this bill, but I cannot at this time. Please know that I will vote against it if I have the chance.

Please know that I am sincerely sorry.
Sincerely,
Ried Holien
State Senator, District 5 [Change.org, 2014.02.03]

Apology accepted, Senator Holien, with great relief. I am deeply heartened to know that there are some legislators, like Rep. Hajek and Sen. Holien, who seem less interested in fighting the culture war and more interested in doing serious policy... for all South Dakotans.