Home > SD 2014 Ballot, South Dakota > Senator Al Novstrup replies to criticism over Amusement Rides bill

Senator Al Novstrup replies to criticism over Amusement Rides bill

July 10, 2014
Senator Al Novstrup

Senator Al Novstrup

A couple weeks ago I attended a Brown County Democrats fundraiser in Aberdeen, SD. The event had two very clear themes. One was a theme of ‘competition of ideas’ as their push to get more Democrats in Pierre. The other could be best summarized as ‘down with the Novstrups’. That night I noted Welke, Elliott, Remily, and Wismer all took shots at the Novstrups. But it was Burt Elliott’s criticism of Al Novstrup that got the Senators attention. Here is part of what I posted on my blog:

Elliott took a few shots at Al Novstrup. The most notable shot he took at Al was for HB 1168; a bill Al pushed through the legislature to increase regulation on Novstrup’s traveling competitors in the amusement ride industry. I agree with Elliott on this bill. It was pure crony protectionism from Novstrup to push this bill through. The bill in question put extra regulatory burden upon certain amusement ride vendors; yet at the same time it actually protected unscrupulous amusement ride vendors by creating a regulatory protective shield. This was a bad law and Elliott was right to call Al out on it.

To make sure there is no misunderstanding, the part about the regulatory protective shield came from my opinion. However the part about Novstrup legislating extra regulations on his competition came straight from Elliott (in which I concurred). There were other shots at Al by Elliott, but this was the only issue-based shot fired. In full disclosure I should also note I will likely support Al in his bid for a District 3 House Seat. I may disagree with him on this one issue, but overall I feel he is a solid conservative legislator.

I have been in communication with Senator Novstrup about the Amusement Ride bill. He feels Elliott and myself have been looking at this bill wrong. Below is what Senator Novstroup has to say about the bill. I would urge everyone to read his side of the story. It is always a great thing when elected officials are willing to shed light on their actions!

Burt Elliott recently attacked my sponsorship and passing of HB 1168  in the 2014 legislative session.

I was the Senate prime sponsor of HB 1168. As the prime sponsor in the Senate, I helped write the bill and also was the main advocate for the bill in the Senate. Representative Hickey gets credit for being the driving force behind the bill.  The bill asks the amusement industry to

  1. Purchase liability insurance.
  2. Do daily inspections and keep records of those inspections.
  3. Perform annual inspections by certified inspectors when cost effective

Forty-three states have already passed this type of legislation. It was only a matter of time until South Dakota passed an amusement industry safety bill.  My goals were to

  1. Improve safety
  2. Provide reasonable regulation on these multi-generational family run businesses so they continue to prosper and provide jobs.

Good legislation requires input from all.  I took input from carnivals owners that have routes in South Dakota and amusement industry organizations such as IAAPA and OABA. The amusement industry endorsed HB 1168. The only opposition was from seven legislators who believed no amusement industry regulation was the right solution.

Here is what the news media had to say about HB 1168:


Burt Elliott is wrong in many ways:

  1. No one was harmed by HB 1168. Burt, can you share the name with us of one person or company that was harmed by HB 1168? In contrast, Burt Elliott supports Obama Care.
  2. The bill represented a reasonable attempt to increase safety for our children as they enjoy amusement attractions.
  3. The House passed this bill 64-6 and the Senate passed it 34-1
  4. The Democrats pass the bill 20 to none. 100% of the Democratic Senators and Democratic Representatives thought HB 1168 was a worthy of a Yes vote.  The Republicans supported the bill 78-7.

It is an election year and Burt Elliott is looking for an issue.  It appears that Burt Elliott picked an example of quality bi-partisan legislation accomplished by doing the necessary work and compromise.

  1. Liberty Dick
    July 11, 2014 at 9:30 am

    I don’t think Al’s business really competes with the traveling rides. I think the only comment to be made this is added government regulation. Of course I would like to see less regulations and a private option coupled with some consumer responsibility should get the same effects (added safety).

    • July 11, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      I agree. A private option coupled with consumer responsibility is just as good, if not better. I don’t think this will be much of an issue for Al though. If this is the worse that anyone can find to attack him on… well, there isn’t much to attack him on.

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