Legislative Panel Holds Friday Meeting On SDHSAA

Jun 25, 2015

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Lawmakers meet in Pierre Friday to study the South Dakota High School Activities Association. The committee agenda includes a full day exploring elements of the state system and how other places handle rules for statewide athletic and arts events.

Eleven state lawmakers sit on the South Dakota High School Activities Association Interim Committee. They’re tasked with learning what the organization does and who oversees its operation and policy.

Wayne Carney is the executive director of the activities association.

“We’re obviously going to start out with the beginnings of the organization: when it started, why it started how it started. We want to make sure we hit a lot on the governance, and then we want to answer any questions the committee may have in regards to either the overview, subject areas, the informational discussion by our board chairman or any questions they may have on our budget,” Carney says. “They’ve only given us an hour and a half on that, so we’ve tried to pick out the high spots.”

Lawmakers say the interim committee is examining a breadth of issues, not just one topic.

Friday’s agenda does not specifically include a transgender policy discussion. Leaders of the activities association approved a rule last year that allows students to participate in activities that apply to their gender identity, not their birth certificate. Some lawmakers want that measure changed.

Carney says the organization’s leaders are reviewing the transgender policy but they do not plan to rescind it.  

“We’re looking at ways to maybe make it clear, to make the process flow better, so to speak,” Carney says.

The first meeting of the legislative committee includes an association overview, information on certain subjects, budgets discussions and public testimony.