Senator Julie Frye-Mueller likely to remain committee-less for the rest of the session

PIERRE, S.D. (SDBA) — Censured Republican Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller from Rapid City will likely remain without committee assignment this legislative session.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown told the South Dakota Broadcasters Association things in the Capitol are working well without her serving on committees.

Late last month, the Republican Senate leadership stripped her of her committee appointments following a harassment complaint filed against her by a female Legislative Research Council staffer. The conversation concerned inappropriate comments about breastfeeding and that the new mother should not inoculate her baby.

Senator Committee Assignments

South Dakota Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller speaks in a Senate session, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 in Pierre, S.D. (AP Photo/Amancai Biraben)

Frye-Mueller was suspended from the Senate for a week until a special committee heard the matter last week.

The Committee, and then the Senate, voted to reinstate Frye-Mueller but censured her and limited her access to legislative staff.

“Our committees are fully filled and operating well,” Sen. Schoenbeck told SDBA News. “There is no reason to change the arrangement.”

As the President Pro Tem, Sen. Schoenbeck is ultimately responsible for committee assignments.

Sen. Frye-Mueller can still vote on the floor and introduce bills.

Several attempts by SDBA News to contact Sen. Frye-Mueller Thursday through email and text have yet to be returned.

Categories: South Dakota News