2021 Legislative Scorecard

Every year, FHA Action produces a Legislative Scorecard to highlight those who stand strong for faith, family & freedom! We have always looked towards Legislative scoring through the lens of the “Reagan Rule.” Someone who agrees with you 80% of the time is a friend and an ally, and not a 20% traitor. With that framework in mind, we encourage everyone to take notice of the Legislators who scored 80% or more, and thank them for standing strong on family values!

2021 Scorecard PDF

Policy Leaders to Noem: Support the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act

Dozens of state and national policy leaders sign open letter to South Dakota governor

PIERRE, South Dakota – This morning, Family Policy Alliance – a pro-family ministry – released an open letter to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. The letter, signed by 47 national and state policy leaders, urges Governor Noem to support a bill like HB 1217, the “Fairness in Women’s Sports” Act, as originally passed by the state legislature. The bill is designed to protect female athletic opportunities by ensuring that only biological females are eligible to compete in girls’ and women’s school sports.

Gov. Noem previously opted to partially veto the bill, removing key enforcement language and limiting its coverage to K-12 sports. In addition to her changes to the law, Noem announced that she intended to form a “coalition to defend Title IX,” the federal law that helped female athletes gain equal access to sports.

But state and national leaders have publicly decried Noem’s veto decision as weakening the bill and denying key protections to college athletes. And, they note, there already is a coalition to defend Title IX and save girls’ sports: this year, 30 state legislatures have considered legislation similar to South Dakota’s, and to date three governors (Idaho, Mississippi, and Arkansas) have signed such bills into law.

Today’s coalition letter articulates these concerns and emphasizes that Noem should support a bill like HB 1217 as originally passed by the South Dakota legislature.

“The South Dakota legislature got it right with HB 1217,” states the coalition, “and your original excitement to sign it was on the mark. … We stand behind these legislators and South Dakota’s female athletes. Gutting the bill doesn’t help anyone win—it sends South Dakota and their girls and women back to the sidelines and sends the wrong signal to others across the country in the fight to save girls’ and women’s sports.”

The letter was signed by 11 leading national organizations: Alliance Defending Freedom, American College of Pediatricians, American Principles Project, Christian Medical & Dental Associations, Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum, Family Policy Alliance, Family Research Council, Heritage Action for America, Save Women’s Sports, and Women’s Liberation Front. It also gained support from key leaders in 35 states, including South Dakota.

The coalition hopes that Noem will ultimately choose to support a bill like HB 1217 as originally passed by the legislature.

The full coalition letter may be found here.

 

Media Contact:

Robert Noland, (719) 308-2822, Media@FamilyPolicyAlliance.com

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Family Policy Alliance is an alliance-building ministry that advances biblical citizenship and promotes good public policy to protect religious freedom, families, and life.

Sections of HB1217 Vetoed

Today Governor Noem issued a partial veto of HB1217. Commonly referred to as a “style and form veto,” this veto proposes changes to a piece of legislation. Her recommendations include:

-Striking college athletics from Section 1, striking Section 2, and striking Section 4.

As we see it, these changes are subject to two questions:

-Are the changes a good idea? 

-Are they within her authority to make?

The answer to both questions, is no.

To the first question – Are these changes a good idea?

No, we do not see them as friendly, helpful, or needed. We cannot be in the position of claiming that “biology matters in high-school, but not when you get to college.” This claim will not stand up in court, nor is it based in reality. The changes suggested by the Governor would delete approximately half of the bill’s language.

To the second question – Are they within her authority to make?

No, these changes are not within her authority to make. Article 4, Section 4 of the SD Constitution clearly states that “Bills with errors in style or form” may be returned to the legislature with recommended changes. Even if the proposed changes were beneficial, they are outside of her authority to make. These changes are not corrections to errors in style or form, but instead, would set a dangerous precedent for lawmaking in South Dakota.

The Governor’s recommendations will be delivered to the Legislature on veto day, and the members will be asked to approve or disapprove of her recommendations.

If the members vote not to approve of the recommendations, the South Dakota Constitution says that the Governor will certify that the recommendations were not accepted and “…it shall be returned to the Legislature as a vetoed bill.”

Reference Links:

HB1217 Full Text

The Governor’s Message

Article 4 of the SD Constitution

FHA Action Capitol Summit (Rapid City Bus)

Come to the Capitol for a day of inspiration, networking, and encouragement! Join us February 11 in Pierre, as we take everyone through a hands-on experience of how their State Government works and how we as Christians can be salt and light in this arena!

Everyone is invited!

FHA Action Capitol Summit (Sioux Falls Bus)

Come to the Capitol for a day of inspiration, networking, and encouragement! Join us February 11 in Pierre, as we take everyone through a hands-on experience of how their State Government works and how we as Christians can be salt and light in this arena!

Everyone is invited!