- Associated Press - Saturday, March 26, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Some Republican lawmakers don’t plan to seek re-election after leaving the 2016 legislative session, which yielded disappointing outcomes for a faction of conservatives.

Several conservatives cited frustration regarding a sales tax hike for teacher pay and Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s veto of a transgender bathroom bill as part of not wanting to return, the Argus Leader (https://argusne0.ws/1UPZdzA) reported.

Republican Sen. David Omdahl, who is not planning to run again, said Daugaard’s veto of the transgender measure was the “final straw.” The bill would have required transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their sex at birth.

“I don’t like the dictatorial style of our governor or the dictatorial style of the leadership in the Senate,” Omdahl said. “I don’t like the cronyism. I don’t like the legislators meeting at the governor’s mansion every week to discuss policy. It’s political incest.”

Outgoing GOP Sen. Bill Van Gerpen expressed similar concerns, saying he’s unhappy with how the executive branch influenced policy. Add it all together and it was “just too much to take,” he said.

Daugaard believes that he and all lawmakers were elected to exercise their best judgment, Tony Venhuizen, the governor’s chief of staff, said in a statement. He said the teacher pay package closely followed the recommendations of a state task force that included legislators and passed both chambers of the Legislature with bipartisan support.

Republican Rep. Elizabeth May said she planned not to run again after she took flak for opposing the sales tax hike. But, her husband mailed in her petitions to get on the ballot, she said, noting her reluctance to return to Pierre if she gets re-elected.

“It’s about the same level of anticipation as going to the dentist,” May said.

___

Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide