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The Latest: Legislature passes Noem’s pipeline protest bills

March 7, 2019

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The Latest on Gov. Kristi Noem’s pipeline protest bills (all times local):

12:55 p.m.

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem’s last-minute bills to address potential Keystone XL oil pipeline demonstrations are all but law.

The GOP-dominated Legislature voted Thursday to approve the pair of measures, which would require pipeline companies to help pay protest-related expenses and create a way to pursue money from those who fund destructive demonstrations.

Republican Rep. Jon Hansen says the measure to go after so-called riot boosting is about upholding the rule of law and holding accountable people who incite violence. The ACLU of South Dakota says it’s currently “weighing all options” to make sure residents’ First Amendment rights are upheld.

Noem’s push comes in the waning days of session, and critics have panned the timing and the administration’s lack of consultation with Native American tribes . Emergency provisions on the bills would make them take effect immediately and block opponents from referring them to a public vote.

The bills come after opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline staged large protests that resulted in hundreds of arrests in North Dakota in late 2016.

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11:17 a.m.

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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