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Senator attempts resolution on veto day

A southern Black Hills senator took aim at the South Dakota Senate on the final legislative day.

The last legislative day is reserved for considering overriding any gubernatorial vetoes. This year there were zero vetoes, which is the first time in nearly 70 years.

But the legislature still must officially adjourn. Outgoing state Senator Lee Schoenbeck was presiding over the brief Senate session, which was closing out the 99th legislative session, when District 30 Senator Julie Frye-Mueller stood to make an announcement.

“I’d like to read something to the body,” said Sen. Frye-Mueller. “This is Senator Julie Frye-Mueller’s resolution to senate members that I’ve written.”

Frye-Muller’s resolution is in response to what Senate leadership called a “serious personnel allegation.” It pertained to a 2023 discipline hearing and censuring of Frye-Mueller following a conversation she had with a legislative research council staffer.

Frye-Mueller was temporarily removed from the Senate. She went the rest of session and all of the 2024 session without committee assignments.

The deadline to introduce resolutions was Feb. 1. Resolutions are also supposed to be introduced during the motions and resolutions portion of the agenda, which did not happen on Tuesday.

After the Senate officially adjourned, Frye-Muller went on to read the full resolution, which took more than five minutes.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.