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Gov Rounds Vetoes Playhouse Bill

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Governor Rounds explains his veto to Senate bill 102: a act that would have modified and continued the lease agreement of the Black Hills Playhouse:


Dear Mr. President and Members of the Senate:


I return herewith Senate Bill 102 and VETO the same.  Senate Bill 102 is An Act to modify and continue the lease agreement on the Black Hills Playhouse.


I veto SB 102 first because it violates Article III, Section 23, of the South Dakota Constitution which prohibits enactment of any special or private law.  SB 102 unquestionably operates solely to extend the lease franchise of one individual leaseholder.  It unquestionably operates to alter legal rights and obligations arising under solely one contract.  It unquestionably cannot apply to any other situation.  The act is therefore unconstitutional and I veto it for that reason.


I secondly veto SB 102, because, as a matter of public policy, I think it is improper to intervene legislatively in a matter of pending litigation.  The Black Hills Playhouse initiated litigation to interpret and enforce certain elements of the existing lease; the state has asserted issues as counterclaims.  That matter is currently pending before the trial court.  I do not think the legislature should intervene to alter or determine the rights of parties to pending litigation and, therefore, veto SB 102 for this reason as well.


Finally, the Act attempts to impose conditions on the Black Hills Playhouse that the State has consistently requested and the Black Hills Playhouse has failed to comply with.  Many of the buildings on site have life and safety code violations which must be corrected before they can be occupied.  Those violations have developed over time and have not been addressed by the Playhouse.  Similarly, the act seeks to impose a requirement that the Playhouse develop a fund for infrastructure needs.  The state has requested that the Playhouse provide adequate funds for infrastructure repeatedly and that request has not been complied with.  The conditions imposed by SB 102 have been requested and not accepted by the Black Hills Playhouse.  In short, SB 102 may well result in no actual change of circumstances for the operation of the Playhouse unless the Playhouse steps forward financially to meet its obligations.


Therefore, for these reasons, I respectfully request that you concur with my action and sustain my veto.


Respectfully submitted,


M. Michael Rounds






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