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House committee defers discussion on heavily amended Capitol statue bill

The South Dakota House Appropriations committee heard a dramatically altered bill Tuesday that intends to build a memorial to former State Representative Bob Glanzer.
South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)
South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)(DAKOTA NEWS NOW)
Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 4:06 PM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. - UPDATE, 4:35 p.m.: The South Dakota House Appropriations Committee has deferred discussion on a heavily amended bill regarding a project to place statues on the Capitol dome. The bill was completely altered from its original form.

Sponsor Rep. Spencer Gosch requested that the bill be deferred to a later committee meeting, saying more research needs to be done due to the significant changes made to the bill.

Gosch said the bill includes a placeholder appropriation of $1 for a memorial for State Representative Bob Glanzer to be built at the state fairgrounds in Huron. The bill initially included $750,000 in taxpayer money to place statues of four former presidents on the Capitol dome.

The South Dakota House Appropriations committee will consider a heavily amended bill Tuesday regarding a project to place statues on the Capitol dome.

HB 1221 was brought about by Speaker Spencer Gosch (R-Glenham), and would provide for “an act to provide an appropriation for the commissioning and placement of presidential statues.”

In its original form, the bill would have allotted state money to place statues of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt - the four presidents on Mount Rushmore - on the dome of the Capitol building.

These statues were first proposed last year by Gov. Kristi Noem as part of the ”Capitol Freedom Project,” though the governor said at the time the project would not be funded by taxpayer dollars. According to a spokesperson with Noem’s office, the Capitol Freedom Project had raised $110,000 as of Monday. To see the project through to its completion, the project would need closer to a million dollars.

HB 1221 originally allotted $750,000 in taxpayer dollars to the project. However, Gosch said Tuesday that the bill would be changed radically in committee Tuesday. Gosch says that he now intends to take the presidential statute funding out completely, and provide funding for a memorial to former State Representative Bob Glanzer (R-Huron). Glanzer passed away from COVID-19 last year. The memorial now would be at the livestock and equestrian complex at the State Fair in Huron. Glanzer was the manager of the South Dakota State Fair board before being elected to the State House.

Noem’s office said that they did not have anything to do with the bill.

The bill will be discussed at 4:00 p.m. It is likely to pass through to the House floor in its new form.