Pipeline protest bills passed in South Dakota Senate

South Dakota News
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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota senators have passed Gov. Kristi Noem’s last-minute bills to prepare for potential protests over the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The Senate voted Thursday to send the measures to the House, which was to debate them later that day. The push comes late in session, and critics have panned the administration’s lack of consultation with Native American tribes.

The Republican governor’s bills would require pipeline companies to chip in on protest-related expenses and create a way to pursue money from those who fund destructive demonstrations. Republican Sen. Lee Schoenbeck, a supporter, says the bill going after protest funders seeks to protect families and communities who would be victims of “terrorist conduct.”

Senate Democratic leader Troy Heinert, an opponent, says he thinks it has “constitutional issues” and suspects it will be challenged in court.

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