South Dakota House sends School Sentinel bill to governor's desk
South Dakota's House members gave the final approval of a bill allowing armed teachers and staff in schools—the so-called Sentinel Bill.
House members voted 40-19 to send the bill to Governor Daugaard's Desk. HB1087 was sent backed to the House because the Senate repealed the secrecy of the bill. Originally, a school board's school sentinel policy was to be kept secret because proponents said it brought and element of surprise. Now, that part has now been repealed.
Some opponents tried bring the bill to a joint committee to hash out amendments on the bill. They called for a joint committee and a summer study to see whether or not South Dakota needs the bill. However, some Republicans saw that as an attempt to squander the bill.
We would not gain anything from a conference committee other than what the previous speaker said, which his ultimate objective is to kill this bill and put it into a summer study," House Majority Leader David Lust said on the floor Monday. "That is not really the true purpose of a conference committee. The conference committee is to work out differences between the two proposals on the table."
The idea of a conference committee was quickly shot down, which left one question before the House. Bill sponsor Representative Scott Craig, of Rapid City, said because of the Senate's amendments the measure is stronger.
"There has been a growing number of school districts that have been contacting us grateful for this because they are 20-45 minutes away from local law enforcement," Craig said. "They do not have the funds, neither the district nor the law enforcement to post a full time employee who would be an armed presence in the schools."