PIERRE — The 2012 session of the Legislature took some of the normal strange turns. Lawmakers decided South Dakota didn’t need a state mascot, or at least the bison shouldn’t play that role, as Sen. Tom Nelson, R-Lead, suggested.
They decided that Rep.
Dennis Feickert, D-Aberdeen was right: The time had come to allow shooting muskrats (no one suggested them as mascots).
And the state flag’s design was deemed goodenough after all, contrary to the hope for change by House Democratic leader Bernie Hunhoff of Yankton.
The most controversial bill of the year, the teacher pay and evaluation reforms, passed without a vote to spare and might be on the November ballot for a statewide vote.
That would mean Gov.
Dennis Daugaard and the Legislature’s majorities of Republicans would have two measures to defend this fall, after the successful referral a year ago of the large-project grants program the governor wants.
And the governor made three vetoes stick, after getting stomped on his first one of the session.
Here are some numbers and facts from the 2012 session that wrapped up Monday:
The Latin phrase meaning “without day” is the time of final adjournment.
The 2012 session officially ended at 1:55 p.m. Monday when the final gavels fell simultaneously in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The 2012 session was trimmed to 33 working days for the observance of former Gov. Bill Janklow’s death. The 2013 session is scheduled for 38 working days, starting Tuesday, Jan. 8, with veto day/sine die scheduled for Monday, March 25.
There were 274 House bills and 197 Senate bills introduced during the 2012 session.
For comparison, the 2011 numbers were 256 and 202; in 2010, they were 278 and 196; in 2009, they were 301 and 203.
Some legislators introduced zero pieces of legislation during the 2012 session.
Among them were Rep. Lance Carson, R-Mitchell; Rep. Ed Iron Cloud III, D-Porcupine; Rep. Tom Jones, D-Viborg; Rep.