PIERRE, SD – South Dakota House lawmakers want to ban “kid-friendly shows” on public campuses.
That was according to a party-line vote in the House State Affairs Committee on Monday, where members voted 11 to 1 to promote Rep. Chris Carr (R-Sioux Falls). account It restricts “lewd and lascivious content” on public campuses and prohibits the use of public resources to host such events.
The bill was created in response to a demonstration that took place on the campus of South Dakota State University last year. The event was billed as “kid-friendly” and those who attended were encouraged to “support them by bringing $1 or $5 if you choose!”
Rep. Erin Healey (D-Sioux Falls) was the lone vote against Carr’s bill.
“Should taxpayers be expected to provide resources for all kinds of student activities on campus?” Carr asked the committee. “That’s why I took this bill further, it’s not just about SDSU, we’re talking about taxpayer resources.”
Student activists and lobbyists from public school groups testified against the bill, citing concerns about how it could limit expression or hurt public school arts programs.
“In many cases, these shows are paid for with student dollars, not public money,” said Brookings resident Garrett Satterly. “If passed, HB 1116 will affect more than just the drag community. It will affect small town school districts that do not have registrations to include all gender roles in theater productions and rely on taxpayer support.”
But all Republican lawmakers on the committee agreed with Carr’s argument that the bill protected free speech beyond what “existed for the primary purpose of appealing to a conservative interest.”
It’s part of a bill that clearly targets events like SDSU’s and excludes public school game shows, Carr said.
“I’m a little surprised today, frankly, that some members of the public school committee came in and opposed this,” Rep. John Hansen (R-Dell Rapids) said, citing the publication. State law definition of “compulsory interest.” “They gave a few examples, but dear, I can’t think of any examples of events that we want to take place at our school that address ‘morbid interest in nudity, sex or defecation.'”
HB 1116 was the second “lewd and lascivious content” bill lawmakers considered in the House State Affairs Committee Monday morning. The other was Rep. Scott Odenbach (R-Spearfish). count, which “expands the provisions on the protection of minors from certain exhibitions”. Specifically, it would add to state law that “drag shows” are harmful to minors.
Lawmakers in committee were unable to break a 6-6 tie to take action on Odenbach’s HB 1125, ultimately voting by one to consider it.
This puts a “pause” on the bill, which can only be lifted if a majority of committee members agree to repeal it.
“I think we should let this issue be resolved at the level at which it was raised,” said Rep. Becky Drury (R-Rapid City) in opposition to Odenbach’s bill. “I’d prefer it be dealt with at the level where it can be heard.”
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