Governor Introduces Last-Minute Bills to Target Pipeline Protest

In a last minute move to undermine public process, Governor Kristi Noem has introduced two entirely new, sloppily-written, and likely unconstitutional anti-free speech and pro-Keystone XL pipeline bills in the last full week of the South Dakota Legislative Session.

Contact Members of the Joint Appropriations Committee to urge a NO vote on these poorly written and likely unconstitutional bills!

The bills will be heard in Joint Committee on Appropriations TOMORROW morning starting at 8am in Room 362 of the Capitol. Please contact committee members (email list below) to encourage their NO vote.

Here’s a brief overview of the bills:

Senate Bill 189: “establish a fund to receive civil recoveries to offset costs incurred by riot boosting, to make a continuous appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency.”

This bill sets up an entirely new kind of crime (“Riot Boosting”) in South Dakota that potentially ensnares people and organizations who are in no way directly related to any kind of illegal activity. This is clearly not an appropriations bill (it was assigned there to speed it through the process), has serious legal consequences, and will likely result in numerous and expensive lawsuits against the state.

Senate Bill 190: “promote pipeline construction and fiscal responsibility by establishing a fund, to authorize a special fee for extraordinary expenses, to make a continuous appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency.”

This bill puts into place language promoting the construction of pipelines through South Dakota as well as over eleven pages detailing a complex and cumbersome state-based administrative process for handling “extraordinary costs” dealing with the construction of pipelines that cross not only state, but national borders.

BOTH of these bills were introduced far beyond the regular deadline for introduction of new bills, despite the Governor’s claim that they have been in the works “for months.”

BOTH of the bills declare an emergency that does not exist–in their last quarterly report, TransCanada, by their own admission, is lacking literally dozens of permits, easements, and right-of-way grants that are necessary for the company to begin construction in South Dakota.

In addition, TransCanada’s presidential permit for the Keystone XL has been enjoined in federal court, and no construction (other than pipe storage yards) is permitted by the judge. There’s simply no way this pipeline is going to be built this year, and there’s no reason to rush through poorly-written legislation that could cost our state millions in lawsuits.


Hugh Bartels

Randy Gross

Taffy Howard

Jean Hunhoff

Chris Karr (Co-Chair)

Lance Koth

Sue Peterson

Doug Post

Michael Saba


Justin Cronin

Brock Greenfield

Jack Kolbeck

Ryan Maher

Reynold Nesiba

Jeff Partridge

Margaret Sutton

Jim White

John Wiik (Co-Chair)

Thank You For Taking Action!