Today's bit of sanity, courtesy of Governor Rounds.

From a press release from the Governor's office:
March 6, 2007

The Honorable Thomas J. Deadrick
Speaker of House
State Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501-5070

Dear Mr. Speaker and Members of the House:

I herewith return House Bill 1189 and VETO the same.

House Bill 1189 is entitled, “An Act to require certain children to be in booster seats when in a motor vehicle.”

The bill proposes to criminalize the failure to place children between 5 and 8 weighing less than 80 pounds in a booster seat. I want to make it abundantly clear that I support the concept of booster seats and child safety in motor vehicles. In fact, my Project 8 Child Seat Program specifically promotes and encourages parents to ensure the appropriate children are transported using booster seats.

While promoting and encouraging parents to use booster seats is sound public policy that I support, I do not believe mandating and criminalizing their conduct is good public policy. I can think of a plethora of circumstances where compliance with this law is unworkable. Parents with large families and neighbors dropping children off at school come immediately to mind. I will not force South Dakota citizens to weigh their passengers before deciding whether to transport them to the movies. How can a law enforcement officer enforce this law? Are we going to provide scales to law enforcement to weigh each child before writing a warning ticket? Are we going to require children to carry identification or a birth certificate to prove their age? Simply put, I can support any type of encouragement to utilize booster seats short of making the failure to do so a violation of the law. Sometimes good advice does not make good law.

For the reasons stated above, and because I believe this bill is unenforceable if passed, I respectfully request that you concur with my action.

Respectfully submitted,

M. Michael Rounds
It's about time someone took a sanity break on the onslaught of nanny-state legislation that came out this year. It should serve as a gut check that just because legislators go to NCSL or whatever other conferences there are, they don't have to import Massachusetts and California styles of regulation to South Dakota. Just because someone else has a bill, doesn't mean that we need it too.

I would also thank the Governor for not requiring me to have three child seats as of this summer. Two is more than enough.


nonnie said…
Gov. Rounds got it exactly right. Depending on kids' sizes and weights, maybe a booster seat is a good idea, but leave that up to the parents whether they need it or it is a workable thing.

I guess Rounds didn't hear Gillespie's rant on the House floor about passing this bill. I thought she was going to have a mental breakdown over the issue!

I thought this bill provided for just a warning if you got caught without a booster seat, in which case it was a worthless law anyway. If it made not using a booster seat a criminal offense, it was even worse.
Anonymous said…
I just don't get why the author of this blog is so against his or her children's use of booster seats -actual elation they can get out of them this summer? If booster seats save lives - which is undeniable - why not protect your children for as long as possible? What's the mad rush to get them out of booster seats - you can buy one at Walmart for $14.00.
PP said…
Because the author of this blog believes that there comes a point when people need to say no.

When I started out having my family, the age that all studies showed was the proper age was 3.

Then, just a few years later, all government studies said the proper age was 5.

Now we have yet another study tell us that kids should be in car seats until they're 8. And they actually wanted to criminalize the behavior.

Just because government say so, doesn't make it right. At what point are we no longer going to be allowed to say "excuse me, but I'd prefer to be the judge of what's correct for my own children."

"Government isn't the solution, Government is the problem"
- Ronald Reagan
Anonymous said…
My child has fallen down before. Government should make a law that requires all children to wear helmets till the age of 25.

If you want to put your kid in a booster seat, do it. There is no law that says you can't.

Do you need Guvmit to micromanage your life?
Anonymous said…
I listened to Gillespies rant. I am from her district and am not proud to admit that she is our rep. Last year she spent all her time trying to get more money for native american housing now she is fighting to mandate booster seats. Pretty worthless as a legislator.
Anonymous said…
Thank you Gov. No way was I going to make my 7 year old sit in a booster seat for 3 mos until he turned 8 this fall. There should have at least been some sort of grandfather clause in that bill.
Anonymous said…
Don't worry anon 1:32, Gillespie is term limited.
feasant said…
Thank you Gov.
Anonymous said…
Thanks Mike!
Anonymous said…
anon 12:15

how stupid are you...pp has said numerous times he isn't against putting his child in a booster seat...criminalizing parents for something that should be their own decision is what he along with many others are against!! Read quote by Ronny baby from above!
nonnie said…
Anon 3:52. Term limited doesn't mean much in reality. They just play musical chairs between the House and Senate and back again. This loophole in term limits should be addressed, but as long as the legislators would have to address this, don't look for a change anytime soon. Could be a ballot issue I suppose though.
Anonymous said…
Hey... at least Gillespie doesn't misquote the constitution. House Education Chair Phyllis Heineman does. All the time.

I can't believe she doesn't know what her constitutional obligation is.
Anonymous said…
Her obligation is to close small schools.
Anonymous said…
I guess it is a different standard when the child leaves the womb
Anonymous said…
Wow, what leadership.

Marion actually took a stand.

He didn't have to defer it to a study group or anything.

I'm awfully proud!

GOP Glee Club
Anonymous said…
Your right PP, government is the problem.

Look at the Walter Reed Hospital.

Look at Katrina.

Look at this miserable Governor and the miserable State House and the pittance they gave education.

You guys don't reward work and you don't want to invest in our kids.

Anonymous said…

I'm sensing a certain tone to your post... almost like you're trying to blame Republicans... hmm.

What about Walter Reed? It's not Republican, it's the military, and it was a lapse by a few people, not the government as a whole.

What about Katrina? True, the government could have stepped in and done more... but in order for the national government to do something, the State of Louisiana had to ask for that help. Louisiana is one of the most corrupt and unjust states in the nation, and more blame should be placed on the Governor and Mayor Ray Nagin (especially when he's asking for so much that is mainly unneeded (show's you that the Democrats put themselves and spending the taxpayers money for unnecessary things before actually rebuilding items). Before you get all pretentious about that, get the facts, instead of listening to MSNBC and CNN.

The "miserable" Governor? What on Earth gives you the right to call him miserable? He was re-elected by a wide margin, and is popular, and actually gets work done, unlike Jack Billion would have.

The fact that the State of South Dakota is even willing to look at increasing money to education is such a promising start, that it shows that the state IS willing to invest in our children. We have a long way to go, but we are working, and it's a start.

8:16, before you get all sarcastic and high and mighty in your responses, think before you speak... you might be able to make some logical arguments instead of trying to repeat the far left wing lines.
Anonymous said…

Thanks for your well-thought out, rational defense of the Governor.

It was as mundane as Marion Michael's administration.

Your defense of the Bush Administration and their "mission accomplished" pretend patriotism rings hollow.

This Adminsistration has misstepped time and again. I actually felt bad for FEMA Director Michael Brown because he did contact the White House and in one of the most underreported stories of this Administration (so much for the liberal media), his pleas went ignored.

That truly was pathetic.

You are right that my criticism of Rounds was a smidge too harsh.

It's just that he won't take a stand.

He left your party hanging on the anti-abortion bill.

He tip-toed around the death penalty in a real (un)Profiles in Courage.

He said he wanted to raise the Minimum Wage and despite strong support in the Senate, he couldn't man up, go down to the State House and get it done.

This State doesn't reward hard work.

It doesn't want to invest in our children.

We do a hell of a nice job buying mutual funds and T-Bills in our reserve funds though.

Meanwhile, we can build more jails, bootcamps, expand video lottery and pat ourselves on the back.

The Chambers and Development Corporatins will tell us things are getting better and we'll all go to dinner at the Country Clubs and sleep better at night.
Anonymous said…
Anon 9:27

You sound a lot like a certain rep mentioned earlier in this post.

Is that you Maggie.
Anonymous said…
Just a weird question: The governor suggests law enforcement would need to carry a scale and check birth certificates -- but aren't age and weight requirements for the under-5 law too?

If you follow that logic, the under-5 law is not enforceable either.

That's not to say whether or not the veto is right or wrong. Just some unusual reasoning...
Anonymous said…
I'm ambivalent about the veto, but that veto message is pathetic (cops carrying scales?).

PP, he should have let you write it instead of Neil Fulton at $175 per hour.

Why are you so underutilized? We have our own Karl Rove sitting on the bench. Put PP in the game, baby!
Douglas said…
Sometimes Rounds sounds like a silly 5th grade girl whining about a bad hair day.

Not all parents are aware of the safety benefits of seat belts, booster seats, etc. Legislation like that for booster seats might have a 3 month education phase of enforcement before actual penalties.

Of course, if you load your kids into the car and put them in an unsafe situation as you drive across the border to get a few dozen cartoons of cheaper cigarettes, you might be fined $5000 for not paying the taxes and get stuck in jail for a year.

Rounds might wonder about such penalties as well.

Just heard today of the devastating effects of the repeal of mandatory motorcycle helmet laws. Large increases in brain injuries, lifetimes of care at taxpayer's expense, etc. etc. That kind of legislation is cousin of some of the mind-numbing ignorance and distortion of values involved with ranting about laws protecting children from their parents and others crappy driving.

I don't suppose baby food should be kept pure either. Let the little twerps stomachs adjust to bacteria and anyway, who wants a nanny state.

How about those ranchers sticking themselves with injections meant for cattle and dying because there is no known antidote for humans to that antibiotic. Silly people want the nanny state to protect them with better warning labels. People ought to have the right to stick themselves with needles anytime they want to. And even if they don't want to, no reason a corporation whould be forced to inform them that a harmless sounding cattle drug can kill them in a matter of minutes.

Give those widows some kleenex to wipe their tears. Rounds can't worry about them and the kids getting their necks snapped and brains bounced around. Hell no, he has got to protect hunters from over-zealous federal wildlife officials.

Gotta keep your priorities straight..damn straight.

Drive Sober.
lexrex said…
excellent point, 10:54.

nonetheless, it was a good veto. good for gov. rounds, i say.
Anonymous said…
M. Mike should have never let this thing get out of committee.
Anonymous said…
did you know that three (3) child safety seats - no matter the shape or positioning - do not fit in the back seat of a family sedan; a seat built for three adults?? So, for a family with two kids in grade school - picking up a couple more kids to take home after school would be impossible.

Thank you so much, Gov. Rounds. And a lot of other parents I know, thank you as well. (Does he read this blog?) ;)
Anonymous said…
Don't worry, Rounds will support this bill next year after his brothers are established in the booster seat business.

I hear that the sweatshirts that legislators buy for their pages are produced by the governor's brother. Nothing gets done in Pierre except when a Rounds makes a buck off of it.
Anonymous said…
7:55 -- Haven't you heard that the Gov doesn't read bills before they get to his desk? (At least the ones he doesn't want to know about.)
Anonymous said…
10:19 you must have made that up out of thin air, that the gov doesn't read the bills until it gets to his desk. Evidently you haven't been out in Pierre to see the Gov's people lobbying the legislators to vote aganinst or in some cases for a bill, or ever been called into his office so he could personally lobby you.

I'm sure he can't personally read every, no one could, but his staff definately does and someone let it slip by because they thought it was good. Obviously overlooking the fact that there are still large families in SD.
Anonymous said…

I don't even know where to begin.

The Bush Administration, yes, is partly to blame for the lack of an adequate response to the Katrina disaster... but just like I said before, they can only do so much... the state of Louisiana is perhaps one of the most corrupt in the nation, and should have done a whole hell of a lot more to help rebuild itself then wait for the national government. Oh yeah, by the way... you can't blame the administration for everything.

He left the Republican Party hanging on the abortion bill? Yeah, right... if I remember correctly, didn't he sign HB1215 last year? And the one this year never made it out of the Senate committee, so pretty sure he couldn't have done anything then, except say that he might have supported it... but at that point in time before the bill was killed, it really wouldn't have had much effect, now would it?

When Governor Rounds delayed the execution this summer... he didn't tip toe around it at all. First off, it's in his right to delay it. Second, he simply said that he wanted to make sure the State was in accordance with the correct procedures, and didn't want to risk a law suit. That's putting the state first, even though some people said that regardless, the execution should have happened. That really takes some "manning up".

We don't reward hard work, and we don't want to invest in our children? HA! This state was built on hard work, and as for education... try the Opportunity Scholarship, try the Dakota Corp education program... we want our children to stay in the State, and while we do still have a long way to go, we are taking the first steps, and making sure that our children do have the very best opportunities here in South Dakota.
Anonymous said…
The above message brought to by the Rounds for Something campaign, Lawrence & Schiller, chairmen.
Anonymous said…

Try looking up pretentious and snob in the dictionary...
Anonymous said…

You should have stopped after your first sentence and your comment would have been entirely accurate
Anonymous said…
Whoops, meant 11:51.
Anonymous said…

I say again... look up pretentious and snob in the dictionary... I think it'll give a pretty accurate definition of yourself... and the Democrats, but that's a different matter.

Ha, and the comment should've stopped after the first sentence? Do you have anything to rebut that post with, or are you just going to try and sound high and mighty?
Anonymous said…
I hope voters remember the idiots who voted for this and send them home.
Anonymous said…
Tsk Tsk. People are more than happy to allow children to die, yet those same people oppose abortion.

How do you reconcile allowing the killing of children, yet waive all those 'save the unborn' signs?
Anonymous said…
what do you mean by "allow children to die" and "reconcile the killing of children, yet WAVE all those 'save the unborn' signs"? I think you've gotten a few things mixed up.
Anonymous said…
anon 12:12,
If a woman was pregnant and did illegal drugs which killed or hurt the child (or has an abortion), would you throw her in jail? Or is this just a choice? If woman has an six year and put the child in lapbelt and the child gets killed or hurt, would you throw her in jail? I see no difference.
Anonymous said…
Anon 8:05a - EXACTLY! Thank you for your sense.
Anonymous said…
I'm guessing if you changed the word "children" to "body" in teh following sentence you would all have a different perspective.

PP - "At what point are we no longer going to be allowed to say "excuse me, but I'd prefer to be the judge of what's correct for my own children.""

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