Gov. Daugaard Signs Senate Bill 176 “Public Safety Bill” to Suppress Protest
Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed into law Senate Bill 176, an Act to preserve the use of public land, to ensure free travel, to enhance emergency response, and to declare an emergency. The bill which passed with a two-thirds majority last week is effective immediately.
“My administration brought this bill to protect those who want to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights, as well as the people who reside in and travel through our state,” said Gov. Daugaard. “Legislators on both sides of the aisle voted to support this bill and I appreciate their recognition of the urgency of this issue.”
SB 176 prohibits individuals from blocking highways and interfering with traffic and allows the South Dakota Department of Transportation to temporarily establish no parking zones. The new law also gives the Chief Justice authority to temporarily license outside attorneys to assist counties with an increase in criminal cases.
After hearing lawmakers’ concerns about dialogue with tribal governments, Gov. Daugaard last week sent a letter to all nine tribes inviting conversation on potential protests. In the letter, the Governor says his administration will hold roundtable discussions for tribal chairs to attend and participate.