Bowing To Corporate Demands For Watered-Down Bill, Gov. Kristi Noem Sells Out Womenâ€™s Sports
Given the reality of the NCAAâ€™s policy, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noemâ€™s proffered explanation for excluding women collegiate athletes from the protections of H.B. 1217 is beyond misleading.
By Margot Cleveland
March 22, 2021
On Friday, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem balked on signing House Bill 1217 when the bill to promote fairness in womenâ€™s sports crossed her desk. But instead of vetoing the legislation, Noem returned the bill to the House with what she called â€œrecommendations as to STYLE and FORM.â€ The Republican governorâ€™s spin, however, cannot withstand scrutinyâ€”most specifically her claimed reasoning for removing collegiate athletics from the billâ€™s protections.
As finalized by the South Dakota legislature, Section 1 of H.B. 1217 provided that athletic teams and sports in the state, including at institutions of higher education, must be expressly designated as male, female, or coeducation. It also stipulated that teams or sports designed as female must be â€œavailable only to participants who are female, based on their biological sex.â€
After promising to sign H.B. 1217, Noem instead took to Twitter on Friday to state why she had changed her mind and instead returned the bill to legislators for modifications. Noem elaborated on her reasoning in a letter to legislators.