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South Dakota Legislature Considers Handing Down an Unfunded Mandate

South Dakota Capital Building
National Park Service

A Legislative mandate may be coming at the South Dakota High School Activities Association. It is HB 1088. It is six lines long with seven sponsors.

Every year we send 105 locally elected people to Pierre, in theory to make our lives better, our governments more productive and less intrusive. Every year some legislator doesn’t like something a local group has done. So they write a bill forbiding the group from doing what they think is in the best interest of their organization.

This year’s “we hate what you are doing, so we are ordering you to stop” bill is aimed at the South Dakota High School Activities Association. The SDHSAA had the audacity to change venues for some Association sponsored events. Some people aren’t happy with those decisions, so they have gone to the state capitol for revenge, by forcing the Association to do things “the way they have always done them.”

The proposal is HB 1088. It is six lines long. It has seven sponsors.

I don’t like mandates. I like locally based decisions. I don’t think the state legislature has any business mandating the location of High School Activities Assciation Events, unless they are willing to fully fund the cost of those events. Based on past acts, the legislature can’t fund education to anyone’s satisfaction. I can’t imagine them funding this proposal.

Legislators regularly complain about mandates from Washington DC. Our Pierre representatives need to look in the mirror on this one.

To be clear, I am not a huge fan of the SDHSAA. The decisions they have made about sports divisions make no sense to me.

However, they do have the right and responsibility to govern High School Activities. Part of that governance includes site selection. I hope HB 1088 does NOT become law.

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