Frye-Mueller Unlikely To Be Reinstated To Committee Assignments


     It appears censured Republican State Senator Julie Frye-Mueller of Rapid City will remain without committee assignment this legislative session. The senator’s district includes Fall River County.

      Senate President Pro Tem Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown told the South Dakota Broadcasters Association that things in the Capitol are working well without Frye-Mueller serving on committees, so “there is no reason to change the arrangement.”

      As President Pro Tem, Schoenbeck is ultimately responsible for committee assignments and is the person who initially pulled those assignments from Frye-Mueller.

       The action last month came after a female staffer of the Legislative Research Council staffer filed a complaint over inappropriate comments she said the senator made to her about breastfeeding and that the new mother should not vaccinate her baby.

     Frye-Mueller was suspended from the Senate the day after losing her committee assignments and a special committee was named to investigate the matter. 

      It concluded that the complaint was valid and recommended Frye-Mueller be censured then reinstated, which the full Senate did on a overwhelming vote. 

     Although she can’t attend committee sessions, Frye-Mueller can still vote on the floor and introduce bills. Fall River leaders and residents argue the arrangement leaves them without full representation.