An effort to revive a transgender bathroom bill looks to skip the South Dakota Legislature and go straight to the people. Don’t expect the business community to follow suit.

Last week, Attorney General Marty Jackley announced that petitioners filed for an initiated measure that would require students to use bathrooms in accordance with their biological sex and public schools to provide a reasonable accommodation for students who struggle with their gender identity.

Mark Lee with the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce says their members foresaw trouble with a similar measure in the 2016 Legislature.

“We started to hear from our hospitality community that if the Governor were to sign the 'Bathroom Bill' certain events were going to vaporize in the Sioux Falls community. There became a business case to be made and we encouraged the Governor at that point to veto the bill.”

Lee points out the problems encountered in North Carolina could also happen in South Dakota.

“They are losing NCAA tournaments and championships left and right because the NCAA has said, ‘Laws that discriminate are against what we believe are our purposes and policies. If you have them on the books we won’t hold our events there.’”

According to Lee, potential NCAA events staged in South Dakota including this weekend’s football playoff game at South Dakota State would be in jeopardy.

As a result, if events are not being held in South Dakota, Lee believes potential jobs are also at stake.

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