South Dakota Legislature Begins 2022 Session

     The South Dakota Legislature begins its 2022 session today with a lot of potentially controversial issues to handle before it wraps up March 10th after 38 days of meeting.

Lawmakers would come March 28 to deal with any late vetoes by Gov Kristi Noem.

    Lawmakers are expected to debate legalizing recreational use of marijuana, how to spend nearly $1 billion dollars in federal COVID relief money, and what to do with several bills touching on some of the nation’s most incendiary social issues.

     The heightened tensions of an election year are joined by a bitter spat between House and Senate Republicans last year over redistricting, and the possible impeachment of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg over his conduct in a fatal crash in 2020.

    Gov Noem is trying to balance concerns between business groups wanting to ratchet up the state’s economic growth and social conservatives pushing some of the country’s most aggressive legislation aimed at transgender people. 

     Business groups warn that bills seen as discriminatory to transgender people may result in the state losing out on sports tournaments and other conventions, but conservative lawmakers want to push the governor to take a harder stance on the issue. 

      Advocates for transgender people say the legislation bullies a group of people who are already marginalized. 

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