Party Split Hangs Up SD Worker Exemptions From COVID Vaccination Mandates

      Although the South Dakota House and Senate both agree with Gov Kristi Noem that employees should be able to get exemptions from company COVID-19 vaccine requirements, it’s looking doubtful such a measure will pass this year.

      That’s because lawmakers can’t reach an agreement on competing proposals from Noem and House Speaker Spencer Gosch. 

        Noem’s version passed the Senate while the House passed the Gosch version, which allows more reasons for an exemption.

       A conference committee on Tuesday failed to hammer out a compromise version, leaving the legislation all but dead.

    The intra-party squabble comes as South Dakota’s 60% fully vaccinated rate lags behind the nationwide rate of 65%.