Noem pitches transgender sports ban; lawmakers say not now | Govt-and-politics

Noem pitches transgender sports ban; lawmakers say not now

Rep. Taffy Howard, left, R-Rapid City speaks in opposition to Noem’s edits of House Bill 1217 at the South Dakota state capitol building during the legislative session in Pierre, S.D., on Monday, March 29, 2021. A South Dakota bill to ban transgender women and girls from female sports failed Monday after Noem effectively vetoed the bill.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Despite South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s renewed push for lawmakers to take up issues she feels were left unsettled during the regular legislative session, including banning transgender girls from girls’ sports, lawmakers said they won’t address it during a special session this year.

The Republican governor’s office held a conference call Wednesday with legislative leaders to discuss summoning them back to Pierre for a special session, which would also include discussions on how to spend over $1 billion that is flowing into the state from a federal COVID-19 rescue package and changes to a voter-passed medical marijuana bill set to go into effect July 1. She pitched tackling a ban on transgender girls and women from sports leagues that match their gender identity in two bills, addressing collegiate sports and high school sports separately.

However, Republican legislative leaders like House Speaker Spencer Gosch said transgender athletes won’t be addressed this year, pointing out the move would die in the Senate. Gosch supported a bill that was passed by the Legislature last month, but it died after Noem vetoed parts of it.

Senate Pro Tem Lee Schoenbeck, a Republican who opposed the bill, has said he doesn’t think a special session should be used to address issues that were already hashed out during the regular session.

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