Today the Senate Education Committee killed HB1116, the bill to ensure that state resources won’t be used for “lewd and lascivious” events. The bill passed the House floor on a sweeping vote of 60-10, but was killed by the Senate committee on a 4-3 vote.



Senator Novstrup however, is not done fighting.
He’s working to resurrect the bill.

Senator Novstrup commented:

“Today’s committee vote was very disappointing. The House of Representatives sent a clear message when they voted 60-10 to restrict state resources from being used for obscene events for minors. I trust the Senate will do the same. There is one more opportunity to pass the bill and South Dakotans must contact their Senators asking for their support.”

Representative Chris Karr, the House sponsor of the bill, issued the following statement:

“This bill has received incredible support because it’s common sense. We took Supreme Court precedent and current South Dakota law to write a bill that says state resources won’t be used to support highly inappropriate conduct – live conduct that is so inappropriate that it is not even protected by the 1st Amendment. All we’re trying to do is make sure we aren’t funding obscene events and inviting kids to partake in them.

Guidance has been requested by the Board of Regents, and they are still in need of that guidance. We need to pass HB 1116 to ensure responsible use of taxpayer dollars and protect our children from inappropriate events.”

The legislation would do 3 things:

  • Ensure that state resources aren’t used for events that are “lewd and lascivious.” The bill uses Supreme Court precedent and current SD law to define lewd and lascivious.
  • Clarify that lewd and lascivious events are not protected by the intellectual diversity laws.
  • Clarify that the Board of Regents, Board of Tech. Ed., and individual institutions have the ability to restrict minors from attending certain events.

The legislation would only apply to events that are considered obscene, and uses the Miller standard to set that definition of obscene. Representative Karr worked with multiple stakeholders in drafting the bill, and even pointed out that the Board of Regents had publicly asked for legislative guidance on the issue. Nonetheless, the bill was killed.

There is a procedure called a “smoke-out” where legislators can resurrect the bill and bring it to the floor. We need you to contact your Senator and ask them to vote yes on the smoke-out of HB1116!


If you know who your Senator is, you can leave a message for them by calling: 605-773-3821

UPDATE: March 1 – The smoke-out was successful! The bill will be delivered to the floor, but we need 18 Senators to vote yes to keep the bill moving forward!

See the 12 who stood up for children (literally) below:

Senators who stood: Beal, Bolin, Castleberry, Frye-Mueller, Hoffman, Klumb, Maher, Mehlhaff, Novstrup, Pischke, Wiik, Zikmund.

UPDATE: March 2 – The senate failed to calendar the bill. The motion received 15 yes votes, but needed 18.

SD Senate Fails to Protect Children

Key Facts:

The Board of Regents publicly committed to “work with the administration and legislative leaders on legislation to clarify the law in this area.”

The bill only applies to events that are legally defined as “obscene” and uses the Supreme Court Miller test in the definition.

The Miller test “draws the line” and stipulates what content is protected as free speech, and what content is “over the line.” Only the most egregious content is included.

The legislation gives the Board of Regents, the Board of Technical Education, and individual institutions the ability to regulate which events minors are allowed to attend.

The bill does not apply to art, literature, artistic performances, or any other activity that is not directly “obscene.”

The “smoke-out” motion will require 1/3 of the Senators to stand, then 1/2 of the Senators to vote yes to add the bill to the calendar.