Monday’s legislative Veto Day to be held electronically

For the first time ever, the final day of a South Dakota Legislative Session will be held electronically rather than in person at the state Capitol building in Pierre.

The adjustment is being made because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Centers for Disease Control guidance to limit the size of gatherings to fewer than ten people.

Legislators will participate from their residences and South Dakota Public Broadcasting will provide livestream coverage of the session, making the process open to the public electronically, but not physically. The electronic feed can be accessed through the Legislative Research Council website or sd.net.

President Pro Tempore Senator Brock Greenfield says while the “electronic” Veto Day may be unusual, given current events, it’s necessary.

Senate Minority Leader Troy Heinert says public service and public safety were both considerations when making the decision. He says legislators need to finish their work, but they don’t want to put people at risk to do it.

House Speaker Representative Steven Haugaard says legislators welcome participation by the public, but no one should put themselves or others at risk of coming in contact with COVID-19 by attending Veto Day in person.

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate are scheduled to convene at 11am (CT) Monday.