Tense Moments in House Committee; HB 1142 Deferred
State Representative Stace Nelson left the House State Affairs Committee meeting this morning, after tangling with a lawmaker over a bill. Nelson's Measure, House Bill 11-42, deals with maintaining lawmaker confidentiality, and apparently stems from accusations levied against the Legislative Research Council. Just one person spoke in favor of the bill-Hanson County Resident Robert Bender. Several legislators spoke against the bill, and praised the L-R-C, including Committee Chair, Representative David Lust. He says elected officials know they're subject to accusations at all times.
Lust said, "But I find it more hurtful and problematic when they do it to someone who's not an elected official, and cannot defend themselves in public-meaning the LRC. And make no mistake, the allegations made here impugn the LRC, and I'll tell you what"-Bender interrupted with the words, "It's you!"
Lust responded with, "Mr. Bender, for someone who ends their e-mails to me and others with ‘May you rot in hell,' you don't have a lot of integrity and respect from me and others. And I'm glad you're leaving because that's appropriate."
As Nelson left, Lust said, "And I'm glad you're leaving too, representative Nelson." Nelson said, "I understand that. Please pass more lies to the press about me."
Lust ended the discussion with, "You've done plenty of bad on your own, Representative Nelson."
Nelson had been forbidden to speak in the House chamber earlier in the session, and had been accused of berating another lawmaker. He and Bender left the meeting before the State Affairs Committee deferred the bill to the 41st day on a unanimous voice vote.
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