The Legislature’s Executive Board on Monday chose eight senators and representatives from a pool of 45 who applied.
Whether there even is such a committee remains unclear until June 18. The committee was created in the 2012 session.
June 18 is the last day for petitions to be filed for a possible statewide vote on the committee. If the petition drive succeeds, the referendum would be held as part of the November general election.
The convoluted process of picking the committee members Monday involved a lengthy debate about whether the board had the authority to appoint the committee members yet, followed by multiple rounds of secret balloting.
“This process has become more and more federal-like,” Rep. Chuck Turbiville, R-Deadwood, said. He is the Executive Board’s chairman.
Besides Wismer, the others selected by the board are Rep. Jacqueline Sly, R-Rapid City; Rep. Scott Munsterman, R-Brookings; Rep. Kristin Conzet, R-Rapid City; Sen. Ryan Maher, R-Isabel; Sen. Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell; Rep. Steve Street, D-Milbank; and Sen. Billie Sutton, D-Burke.
The House speaker, the Senate president pro tem and the chairman of the Executive Board also will automatically be members.
Those currently are Rep. Val Rausch, R-Big Stone City; Sen. Bob Gray, R-Pierre; and Rep. Chuck Turbiville, R-Deadwood.
None is returning for the 2013 session. They will, however, serve on the planning committee until their successors are selected next year.
The speaker and the Senate president pro tem who will hold those posts for the 2013 session will be selected in caucus decisions after the November general election. They will take office in January.
The Executive Board’s new chairman won’t be chosen, in all likelihood, until after the 2013 legislative session ends.
That would mean Turbiville possibly could continue to serve on the planning committee until late March or April, even though he wouldn’t be a member of the Legislature any longer.
The legislation currently is subject to a petition drive that, if successful, would refer it to a statewide vote in the November general election.
If there aren’t sufficient valid signatures submitted by the filing deadline at 5 p.m. Monday, the legislation becomes law July 1.
When the board finally voted to move forward with the appointments Monday, the board then needed three rounds of secret ballots to come up with five Republicans.
The three Democrats meanwhile were chosen first with little debate.
Turbiville said he doesn’t want it to be another leadership committee. He concluded after listening to testimony and debate from the legislative session that there should be 11 members, of which three will be Democrats.
Wismer and Sutton are members of the Joint Committee on Appropriations. Turbiville said they would meet the requirement that committee have at least one appropriations member.
He said more than a dozen members of the appropriations panel submitted applications to be on the planning committee.