Governor Making Decision Soon On Transgender Bathroom Bill

Feb 29, 2016

Governor Dennis Daugaard during a press briefing at the State Capitol.

Governor Dennis Daugaard says he’ll make a decision by Tuesday on what’s known as the transgender bathroom bill. House Bill 1008 requires transgender students use the bathroom of their biological sex. The measure was delivered to the Governor’s desk last week.

Proponents of House Bill 1008 say it protects students’ privacy. Opponents say it’s discrimination.

Governor Dennis Daugaard says he’s going through the testimony before deciding whether or not to support the measure.
 
“Most of those hearings have taken quite a while,” Daugaard says. “And then I’m listening to testimony on the floor. And then I also have documents that I’ve received from proponents and opponents about court cases in other states. And so I’m reading those cases as well.”
 
The issue has gained national attention, as well as garnering resistance locally. A group gathered in front of the Capitol last week to oppose the measure. Governor Daugaard met with transgender students and parents.
 
“I heard their personal stories,” Daugaard says. “And so I saw things through their eyes in that sense. I had read other personal stories. Certainly I’m getting personal stories through the emails, and through what I read in the paper."
 
Daugaard says he tries to take information where he can get it, and is most interested in what South Dakotans think.

The Governor has three options in his response to the legislation. He can sign the bill and it becomes law. He can also veto the measure. A 2/3 vote in the House and Senate can override the veto. Or, he can do nothing and the bill becomes law, without his signature.