The adage, “no bill is dead until session is over,” added another example on Tuesday.
Just hours after voting (17-18) to kill House Bill 1164, which lowers the number of signatures needed to refer a school board’s start day decision, Senators approved intent to reconsider on the bill and passed an amended version of it 19-16.
The latest version of HB 1164 would require a start date referral petition to have five percent of the total number of registered voters voting in the previous general election ONLY in school districts with 5,000 or more registered voters. School districts with fewer than 5,000 registered voters would not be affected by the change in start day petition provisions.
Initially, the bill would have put all school districts under the five percent provision. Sen. Deb Peters, who spoke on behalf of the bill during reconsideration, said the amended version of the bill alleviates the anxiety smaller school districts had about HB 1164.
In opposition of the bill, Sen. Larry Lucas said the decision of which day to start school is a local decision “made best at (the) local level.”
Sen. Deb Soholt supported the bill because it would “help those in the larger communities” in South Dakota have more say in their district’s start date.
UPDATE: Members of the House of Representatives passed the Senate’s amended version on a 57-12 vote on Wednesday.
HB 1164 now awaits only Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s signature or veto.
ASBSD is monitoring the bill.
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