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:

Senate:

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

House:

  • 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.