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Everybody Loves Daugaard’s Juvenile Justice Reform. Almost.

Governor Dennis Daugaard has submitted his juvenile justice reform bill, and the Legislature has quickly jumped on board. Senate Bill 73 has 31 Senate sponsors and 61 House sponsors. When a bill has 92 sponsors out of 105 members, isn't there a mercy rule that says the bill wins and calls the game?

It's easier to list who's not sponsoring SB 73:


  • Phil Jensen (R-32/Rapid City)
  • Betty Olson (R-28/Prairie City)
  • David Omdahl (R-11/Sioux Falls)
  • Bill Van Gerpen (R-19/Tyndall)


  • Jim Bolin (R-16/Canton)
  • Shawn Bordeaux (D-26A/Mission)
  • Blaine Campbell (R-35/Rapid City)
  • Dan Kaiser (R-3/Aberdeen)
  • Kevin Killer (D-27/Pine Ridge)
  • Isaac Latterell (R-6/Tea)
  • Sam Marty (R-28B/Prairie City)
  • Lance Russell (R-30/Hot Springs)
  • James Schaefer (R-26B/Kennebec)

Non-sponsorship may mean nothing. It may mean these eleven Republicans and two Democrats got back from lunch later than everyone else the afternoon Daugaard's chief of staff went around rounding up signatures.

But I can't help noticing the ideological bent. Most of the Republicans on this list are from the arch-conservative Mugwump camp, the folks perhaps most inclined to buck the Governor for going liberal... which Todd Epp says the Governor appears to be doing with this reform package. As usual, they don't have the numbers or the people skills to organize an effective resistance to something the boss wants. But maybe we'll hear some fun speeches in opposition from this core group of conservatives.


  1. Tim 2015.01.21

    Daugaard going liberal, that's funny, it's obvious they don't know the meaning of the word. We should get up a collection and send them all dictionaries.

  2. Moses 2015.01.21

    Off subject, it never amazes me that Daschle was a showboat, according to critics.What can we say about photo op Thune I hear this morning he is on morning Joe.Find a camera and a basketball and our boy will show up.

  3. Steve Sibson 2015.01.21

    "they don't know the meaning of the word"

    Proposing a budget that is 15% higher the last year's actual spending and then propose $50 million in higher taxes. Tax and spend liberal.

  4. Bill Dithmer 2015.01.21

    "Each recipient and the recipient's officers, agents, and employees are immune from any cause of action for civil damages broughwt by the child, parents, guardians, or any third party if the cause of action arises from any act of commission or omission by the recipient or any of 24 its officers, agents, or employees or any act of commission or omission by the child and the acts"

    This was a feel good bill. Yup were addressing a need that the kids in this state need, look at us.

    I see all kinds of this and that things in the bill but it was written from a big city point of view. Except for the things the tribal relations board has to report there isnt much change there. The counties that need what this bill does are the same ones that are out of money now. Is the state ready to pick up that tab?

    It looks like the framers of the bill did do the most important thing. They proteced everyone involved from legal consequences.


    The Blindman

  5. Nick Nemec 2015.01.21

    What does it say when both Democrats who failed to sign on are Native Americans who represent largely Native American districts?

  6. mike from iowa 2015.01.21

    Do legislators receive adequate time to eat state paid for meals?

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.21

    I am curious about that, Nick.

  8. Steve Sibson 2015.01.21

    Cory, send Rep. Killer an email. He is a smart guy and hopefully will respond.

  9. Nick Nemec 2015.01.21

    I'm with Steve on this. I'm curious if Killer and Bordeaux see something in this proposal that would be bad for Indian Country, or are they are gun shy of administration bills they haven't had time to study, or if they were overlooked or not in the room when the bills were passed around.

    In my experience sometimes an administration bill on a very important subject with nearly every legislator signed on is an attempt to pull a fast one. It's overcompensation by the administration.

  10. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.21

    What we have in Pierre is a full conservative plate of tax and spend Republicans, there is no denying that.

  11. Steve Sibson 2015.01.21

    Roger, as Cory has pointed out, the conservatives are not on Daugaard's Bill. The Republicans running the show in Pierre are your fellow liberals.

  12. Katherine Eidam-Osterloh 2015.02.17

    Just found this msg board. I work with correction's kids. A whole long list of 'what about this' questions were submitted to the governor and a few legislators. Only one said " good questions" . . . such as "what does research from Florida and Norway have to do with our kids in SD?" So many problems with this bill . . .

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.17

    Katherine, what are the flaws in the extrapolation of data from Norway and Florida to South Dakota?

  14. Katherine Eidam-Osterloh 2015.02.17

    First, the justice system in Norway is totally different than in the US. That would be a lengthy discussion. The most important point is that Norway and Florida's juvenile populations are a different make-up than our rural state of SD. We have the poorest counties, per capita, in the US. Youth coming from this background, along with all of the other issues, have a different mind set than those of urban populations. Another question I had asked was "will this bill really keep kids out of correctional facilities? How many youth currently in a facility would not be there under this bill?" I believe the answer would be "the numbers would still be close to the same". I have raised 3 boys, 2 have struggled, this bill does nothing to address the underlying problems we see with our youth today.

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.17

    "underlying problems"—I thought about that while listening to the discussion between Senators Parsley and Lederman Sunday night on KELO: the juvenile justice reform deals with kids after they've become juvenile offenders. Reform in the juvenile justice system may be needed, but we could use at least as much attention to addressing the social ills of which juvenile addiction and crime are symptoms.

    That said, are there interventions that work with those urban kids that won't work with South Dakota's young rural offenders?

  16. Katherine Eidam-Osterloh 2015.02.17

    The basis of the bill is to keep from sending juveniles to residential treatment facilities. As I read their work group report a few weeks ago, I do not remember all of the specifics. For one - they said that 'research showed' that any longer away from home than 3 months was not productive. Again, what 'home' are the youths being removed from? For some, extended removal from a 'home' would be in their best interest. The programs currently in place are all evidence-based and current recidivism rates are approximately half of what the 'work group' used as reference. Being a 'chemist-turned-teacher', if you are going to quote research to me, it had better be based in fact, and relevant to the situation which it is being applied towards. You are right, we need to address the underlying problems before we try to put a band-aid on open-heart surgery. If you have an email address, I would be happy to let you see the list of questions which I drafted.

  17. mike from iowa 2015.02.17

    Ms Katherine-none of my affair,but you can reach Cory through his contact info at the top of the page.

  18. Katherine Eidam-Osterloh 2015.02.17

    Mr. Mike - Thank You. I'd already found it about 7 seconds after I posted that :-)

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