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shop online at www.missourivalleyshopper.com March 12, 2019 • Page 3 Noem’s Keystone XL Pipeline Legislation May Be A Threat To Free Speech, Right To Protest Two last-minute bills regarding the Keystone XL pipeline introduced March 4 by Gov. Kristi Noem may be a threat to freedom of speech and the right to protest. Noem says the legislative package, the text of which hasn’t been posted online yet, is intended to “ensure the Keystone XL pipeline and other future pipeline projects are built in a safe and efficient manner while protecting our state and counties from extraordinary law enforcement costs in the event of riots.” The ACLU of South Dakota is concerned about this package of legislation. It is clear that Noem is taking aim at protests that could occur around the pipeline. “The right to join with fellow citizens in protest or peaceful assembly is critical to a functioning democracy and at the core of the First Amendment,” said Libby Skarin, policy director for the ACLU of South Dakota. “Unfortunately, government officials sometimes violate this right through means intended to thwart free public expression sometimes by casting or framing protected speech as riotous. Based on Gov. Noem’s statement, it’s clear that she’s taking aim at the protests that could occur around the Keystone XL pipeline. At best, these bills are entirely unnecessary. At worst, they are meant to chill speech.” Additionally, introducing new legislation on the 33rd day of the legislative session is problematic, Skarin says. The last day for a bill or joint resolution to pass both houses is Thursday, March 7. If the rules are suspended to allow for Noem’s bills to proceed without a committee hearing in order to meet that deadline, the public may not have a chance for input. “The legislative process needs to be followed and respected,” Skarin says. “Public input is a vital part of our democracy. The voice of the people must be able to be heard in a meaningful way, and taking that opportunity away from South Dakotans is a subversion of our entire demo- Board Of SBVI Holding Quarterly Meeting FT. PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired will hold their quarterly meeting in Fort Pierre on Friday, March 22. The meeting will be held at the AmericInn located at 312 Island Dr. starting at 8:30a.m. CDT. For more information on the meeting, please visit https://boardsandcommissions.sd.gov/ or contact Gaye Mattke at 605-773-4644. The mission of the Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired is to promote independence, employment, and full inclusion for all citizens who are blind or visually impaired. cratic process.” Construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is currently on hold. A ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris in November 2018 found that the Trump administration failed to conduct required environmental review studies prior to granting TransCanada approval to construct the Keystone XL pipeline. Judge Morris blocked TransCanada from constructing the pipeline and, in a subsequent ruling, also prohibited the company from engaging in th rd th th December 2nd & would & 10th, 16 any activities that 3 , 9 advance & 17 • 1-3:00PM Bring Your Cameras! the construction until the appropriate environment reviews could be complete. Check out the for great specials at your local restaurants! In Print and Online! 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