Solution sought to oath of office bill’s discrepancy

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Solution sought to oath of office bill’s discrepancy

An adjustment to the official oath of elected officials awaits its fate after a committee hearing.


House Bill 1077, which modifies the oath elected officials take when assuming office, was deferred by the House Local Government committee following its initial committee hearing last week (1/25).


The bill’s sponsor Rep. Tina Mullaly called the proposal “a cleanup bill to clarify the oath of office for all officials” add “it’s basically if you’ve been elected by the citizens” the oath “should be the same.”


The proposed change would align the oaths of all elected officials to that “with language nearly identical to the oath” in the state’s Constitution that’s taken by the legislature.


ASBSD opposes the bill based on the conflict it would create in state statute.


“If this bill is passed today, it creates inconsistency,” ASBSD Director of Policy and Legal Services Jessica Filler testified, citing state statute 13-8-14, which specifies the oath of school board members as “subscribing to an oath or affirmation to support the laws and Constitution of the United States and the State of South Dakota and to faithfully perform the duties of school board membership.”


“We don’t want laws that are in conflict. We don’t set school boards up,” Filler said, adding the passage of HB 1077 could put school boards in violation if they follow SDCL 13-8-14 instead of the state law the bill would amend.


Committee members asked if finding consistency in the statutes was possible to which Rep. Mullaly said she “would be willing” to discuss the concerns raised to see if consistency in the laws can be reached.


For updates on HB 1077 and other pieces of legislation, check the ASBSD Blog and Billtracker page.

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