Potty Bill HB1008 Should Be Flushed [OPINION]
I am amazed at the speed the great minds in Pierre have attained deciding a very complex physiological and psychological issue affecting our children without seeking the expertise of medical and psychological professionals.
HB1008, commonly called the “Potty Bill,” restricts transgender students access to bathrooms of their gender identity. One of the great minds, at a Sioux Falls legislative coffee said these kids “are twisted,” proving a complete lack of knowledge of the issue.
The bill has easily passed the House and Senate, and is on the Governor’s desk.
I hope Governor Daugaard has the common sense, compassion, and courage to 'flush' this bill and any others which subject our state to lawsuits, because they are unconstitutional, are obviously based on lack of knowledge, and may be considered mean.
Also, our great minds are close to passing HB1112 a bill negating many months of work done by the K-12 educational community on the subject of transgender students in sports.
There are federal laws, rules and regulations under Title IX dealing with both subjects. Our legislature, which normally is tight with tax money, appear eager to spend finite local government tax money on lawyers defending laws, which most folks think are unconstitutional at best and ignorant at worst.
One of the most cowardly sections of the “Potty Bill” says the state will NOT assist any school district with legal fees if (I think it will be 'when') they are sued by some student or organization.
Ironically, when the federal government mandates a certain behavior and doesn’t provide funds to pay for it, the folks in Pierre become very irate. Yet, on this issue they have no qualms passing the buck, make that big bucks in legal expenses onto a local school district.
It is hard to comprehend the mind set of our elected representatives. I imagine many of them are still upset over the loss of the legislatively-imposed gay marriage ban. In retribution, they have introduced a bill making it “legal” to discriminate against gays in certain situations. Single moms are included in that proposal.
Words on the tip of my tongue include, “ignorant, arrogant, foolish, blind.” And taking a line from the legislator quoted above, “twisted.” However, I will settle for a much more compassionate phrase, “I feel badly for them, because it is obvious they know not what they do.”
If I were in Pierre, I would have introduced a bill acknowledging the emerging issue of transgender students, encourage schools collectively to find solutions in compliance with federal law, and offer the services of state government to assist, both technically and financially if needed. I would have included language to deal with transgender individuals in all public accommodations.
We have issues of poverty, education, healthcare, worker pay, workforce development which need serious attention and action. Yet hours and days have been spent on making life more difficult for people with unique issues.
An earlier legislative proposal dealt with requiring people receiving welfare to undergo drug tests. It died.
However, bringing it back, removing “welfare recipients” and inserting “legislators” seems like a grand idea.
I would also like to add, a psychological exam to determine a legislator’s competency to do the job before each legislative session, just like we do accused criminals to see if they are fit to stand trial.
One more thing. No pay raise. They should be personally assessed out of their legislative pay for the legal fees they are going to cost us.
Again we are being poorly led. No surprise, but continual disappointment.