First Amendment Threat–Governor’s Anti-Free Speech Bills Pass Appropriations Committee

Contact Members of the House NOW–and Thursday Morning to VOTE NO!

We are aware that SB 189 & SB 190 must first pass the Senate, but we have been advised that the Senate vote is already locked down in favor of this last-minute dirty deal by the Governor in collusion with pipeline companies.

Our best chance of defeating these bills and avoiding costly lawsuits is to deluge House members with messages urging them to VOTE NO.

You can CALL the House Lobby to leave a message for a Representative: (605) 773-3851

You can FAX a message to an individual Representative: (605) 773-6806

Or, you can EMAIL Representatives using their addresses listed at the end of this message.

Talking points for these disastrous bills (add your own as well!):

  • Despite the Governor claiming that her administration has worked for ”months” on these anti-protest bills, SB 189 & 190 were introduced far past the deadline for new bill introductions, forcing the legislature to suspend their rules, introduce the bills, and hold a single hearing less than 48 hours after the bill language went public
  • Administration staff today testified that numerous stakeholders were involved in the creation of this legislation, but notably absent from that list was the state agency in charge of permitting pipelines (Public Utilities Commission), as well as Sovereign Native Nations that share our borders, and organizations such as Dakota Rural Action, who have been closely involved in the pipeline permitting process
  • The Governor and her staff have repeatedly asserted that this legislation is an “emergency” because the Presidential Permit may be reinstated on appeal. This completely overlooks literally dozens of permits, easements, right-of-way agreements, and other necessary steps (outlined for the committee today in a 6-page handout) that are required before any construction is undertaken under the conditions of TransCanada’s KXL permit in the state. There’s simply no way this pipeline will get built this year, so there is no reason to rush these bills through
  • These bills chill free speech by targeting people and organizations (and their employees, and subsidiaries, and whoever else the state or pipeline company think has money) for lawsuits simply for giving money to causes they believe in if anyone associated with that cause engages in behavior the state deems a “riot.”
  • These bills are almost certainly unconstitutional, will likely never take effect, and may cost taxpayers millions defending ill-planned and poorly-executed legislation brought at the last minute by an administration in collusion with industry. Already, organizations are lining up to file the first lawsuits.

Contact House Members NOW to oppose these bills!

Thank You For Taking Action!