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Rep Rounds shows disrespect for conservative South Dakotans by hijacking Rep Nelsons resolution

February 26, 2014 5 comments

norespectToday Representative Stace Nelson (R-19) asked for support of House Concurrent Resolution 1027. HCR1027 is a resolution commending, honoring, and thanking former Congressman Dr. Ron Paul. This should have been a quick resolution and taken very little floor time. Instead Rep Tim Rounds (R-24) decided to bring forth an amendment that deleted everything in the resolution and write something completely different. It should be noted that Rep Rounds is brother to former South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds. Mike Rounds and Stace Nelson are both seeking the Republican nomination for US Senator in South Dakota.

So what does the resolution actually say? Here is the text of this resolution as introduced by Rep Nelson:

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION, Commending, honoring, and thanking former Congressman Dr. Ron Paul.
WHEREAS, the Honorable Ron Paul served our country with dignity and integrity as a United States Congressman from the State of Texas for twenty-three years; and
WHEREAS, patriot Ron Paul served our country bravely as an active duty member of the United States Air Force as a Flight Surgeon from 1963-1965 and as an Air Force National Guard member from 1965-1968; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Ron Paul inspired generations of Americans to become involved and get active in our government “of the people, by the people, for the people…” by inspiring countless Americans with his promotion of a limited government philosophy; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Ron Paul has remained consistent in his dedication to the principles of life, the free market, and the defense of our United States Constitution; and
WHEREAS, South Dakotans greatly appreciate the sacrifice, dedication, and service of all such patriotic Americans who have done so much to serve our nation:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the House of Representatives of the Eighty-
Ninth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the Senate concurring therein, that the Honorable Congressman Dr. Ron Paul is commended, honored, and thanked for his many decades of service to our great nation. Our best wishes are extended to him and his family.

This is a resolution I agree with. As Rep Kaiser (R-3) pointed out during the floor debate: Ron Paul can be seen as the founder of the Tea Party. There are many South Dakota residents with Tea Party or libertarian leanings that would like to thank Dr Paul for his service. During the debate Rep Neslon mentioned he does not agree with all of Dr Paul’s stances, but overall Dr Pauls commitment to liberty is worthy of honoring. I agree.

Having said that, I did not expect the resolution to pass on the House floor. Dr Paul is a leader in the liberty movement, so really only conservative legislators would want to honor him. There might have been a couple of liberal legislator that would also want to honor him for his civil liberties work. But, I fully expected the resolution to fail and be forgotten (I hadn’t even planned on doing a post about the resolution).

Things don’t always go as expected in politics, especially with a US Senate race going on….

Instead of simply speaking against the resolution or voting no, Rounds decided he would make a political statement against the Tea Party and liberty-minded individuals. He proposed an amendment that gutted out Nelson’s resolution and replaced it with a resolution that listed Congressmen that South Dakota had sent to DC in the past (many of whom I would consider horrible legislators). Again, that would have been OK for Rounds to object to the resolution based on the fact Dr Paul is not, nor has he ever been, a resident of South Dakota. But instead Rounds decided to hijack Nelson’s bill; which is considered to be objectionable things one legislator can do to another. Rounds move had nothing to do with the fact Dr Paul is an out of state Congressman. It has everything to do with politics. Rep Rounds acted on behalf of his brother Mike to politically attack Stace Nelson, the Tea Party, fiscal conservatives, and liberty-minded individuals. Whether Mike Rounds had foreknowledge of this attack is irrelevant. Rep Rounds has been around politics enough to know his actions would be tied to those of his brother.

Also during the debate Rep Hajek (R-14) stood to support the bills hijacking. She made it sound like Rep Nelson had come up with this resolution to serve his own self-interest. I wonder if Rep Hajek has bothered to look at the platform and resolutions of the party she represents. The resolution introduced by Rep Nelson was not written by him. Instead this resolution was drafted and adopted by the RNC during the 2013 spring meeting. (The resolutions passed are listed here, the resolution text is here). If Hajek has a problem with resolutions passed by the RNC that is up to her. But it is puzzling that elected members of the Republican party in South Dakota have no idea what their party does or stands for. Perhaps Rep Hajek, and everyone else in Pierre for that matter, should study the party they are a part of and decide if they truly believe the overall principles that their party stands for. Perhaps we would see some party swapping happen in that event…

Finally I would like to mention the fact this hijacking should never have been allowed to happen. Rep Latterell (R-6) made a point of order about the hijacking amendment pursuant to Joint Rule 6E-1:

6E-1. Amendments to be germane to bill. No amendment to a bill or joint resolution may embrace more than one subject, which shall be expressed in the title of the bill.

To call this amendment ‘germane’ is stretching pretty far. The original bill specifically honored one person for stated accomplishments. The amendment lists multiple people, with no specific accomplishments. It could also be argued that the new bill has multiple subjects, especially since Congresswomen Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Kristi Noem seemed to be added to the amendment as an afterthought. Speaker Gosch could have ended the hijacking right then. But he ruled the amendment was germane, and thus allowed the hijacking to continue.

Going forward I do not think any liberty-minded voters will forget this move by Rounds. The Rounds campaign may believe millions of dollars in the coffers guarantees a victory in the Primary this June. Yet, this move in the SD House may have provided the catalyst needed for conservative activists to rally behind Stace Nelson and expand his network of grass-root supporters. It is one thing to fail voting conservative; sadly, constituents are used to that. It is however a much different issue when a candidate, or the brother of a candidate, directly attacks and disrespects a leader in the liberty movement. The June primary is looking better and better.

PS. Full disclosure: I do support Stace Nelson as the US Senator from South Dakota in the 2014 election. I did not write this post not because he took a political shot at Nelson, that is expected and in itself is not enough to warrant this post. I, like many others I’ve spoken to today, am quite upset that Rounds would so brazenly disrespect Dr Paul, fiscal conservatism, and the liberty movement. It was Rounds disrespectful attack on the liberty movement that made it necessary for me to write this post.

South Dakota 2014 Legislature: Bills signed into law on Feb 25

February 25, 2014 1 comment

nicubunu_ScrollToday Governor Daugaard signed more bills into law that came from the South Dakota 2014 legislature. Below is a list of the bills signed into law and any thoughts I have about them. I am happy to see there aren’t any ‘big’ laws signed into law this time. The less our government does, the better it is for liberty.

HB 1056An Act to repeal certain provisions regarding the taxation, the licensing and the regulation of motor vehicles.
This cleanup bill seemed to get rid of a lot of old codified law. Good to see.

HB 1059An Act to revise certain provisions regarding the exemption of mass transit motor vehicles from licensing and registration fees and the motor vehicle excise tax.
Most of this bill appears to be dealing with mass transit vehicles that are owned/operated by government agencies. It appears to clarify how the exemption to this tax works with those government agencies.

HB 1060An Act to revise certain provisions regarding military specialty plates.
This section simplifies the definitions and procedures for the military specialty plates (there are 16 available).

HB 1084An Act to revise certain provisions regarding the list of persons who may be excluded from a licensed gaming establishment and to provide a penalty for a violation of the exclusion.
This is an expansion of a current law that I don’t really like. Basically a list is kept of certain people the government does not want in gaming establishments. This bill expands that list and provides a penalty for gaming establishments that ‘knowingly’ allows one of the ‘bad’ people in their establishment. I don’t think government intervention is need here. If casinos want certain people kept out let it be up to them to handle it.

HB 1092An Act to require that crematories be under the direction of licensed funeral establishments and funeral directors.
This was an odd one. It doesn’t address any problems currently in South Dakota, or any perceived to a problem in the future. This law seems to be leaning on the side of over-regulation for no reason at all.

SB 61An Act to revise certain provisions regarding organization, first responder and organ donor emblem specialty plates for motor vehicles.
This seems to make some good changes. Not really a law that interests me though…

SB 95An Act to revise certain vehicle dealer licensing provisions.
This one seems to be code cleanup and clarification

SB 138An Act to revise certain provisions relating to title-based escheatment of abandoned United States savings bonds and the proceeds thereof.
Another bill that seems to clarify current codified law. 

South Dakota 2014 Legislature: bills to watch in Committees on Feb 25

February 24, 2014 1 comment

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Tuesday, Feb 25 is the 26th legislative day for the South Dakota Legislature. The afternoon House session will be interesting because part II of the smokeout attempt of HB1187 will take place. Hopefully the House Representatives will receive enough pressure between then and now to pass HB1187. Going into the election this fall a vote against allowing the bill back on the floor will be seen as a vote for Common Core. That may swing some close elections..

But in meantime, here are the bills I find interesting in tomorrows committee meetings:

 Senate Judiciary Committee
Agenda – 8:00 am

HB1119
Purpose: revise certain provisions relating to preliminary hearings for persons charged with class 1 misdemeanors.

This bill passed in the House with little resistance. I’m not quite sure what the bill is trying to fix. To me it looks like due process is being taken away from Class 1 misdemeanors by removing the preliminary hearing. A loss of due process never seems like a good idea….

Senate Education Committee
Agenda – 8:00 am

HB1030
Purpose: provide for the confidentiality of certain evaluation data.

This is a bill I posted about previously. It was a bad bill then, and is still a bad bill after the House passed it. Here is a part of what I had to say a month ago:

This bill appears to be good on the surface since it strengthens privacy law for personal data. The only question I have is whether all of a public teachers evaluation data should be considered ‘private’. HB1030 actually appears to be a move to create even more separation between teachers and parents. I just don’t see that as the best way to handle public education.

I see little hope that the Senate Ed committee will kill this bill. But there is always a chance…

Senate Commerce and Energy Committee
Agenda – 10:00 am

HB1104
Purpose: allow local governing bodies to require the payment for certain goods and services by electronic transaction.

This is an odd one, and I’m not sure why it passed the house. Here is the text of this bill:

Section 1. That § 4-3-27 be amended to read as follows:
4-3-27. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, local government officials and employees may be permitted to use a credit card or electronic payment for the purchase of materials, supplies, equipment, or other authorized transactions for the benefit of the local government entity. Before authorizing the use of a credit card or electronic payment, the governing body shall, by resolution, establish policies providing for the use and accountability of credit card purchases or electronic transactions. However, no local governing body may mandate that the recipient of the payment for goods or services, other than payroll, shall accept payment by electronic transaction.

If I am reading this correctly, this section says a government official or employee can force someone to receive payments electronically if that is ‘policy’. Many small business owners do not accept credit cards for various reasons (such as high merchant fees). I really can’t see why the legislature feels it necessary that government officials can mandate what types of payment people will be forced to accept.

Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee
Agenda – 10:00 am

HB1185
Purpose: allow certain family members of residents to obtain nonresident waterfowl hunting privileges, to provide preference for certain nonresident veterans, and to establish a penalty.

This is a bill I didn’t give too much attention while it was in the House. It had been dubbed the “come home to hunt bill” and I really see no problems with it. However this bill became an issue at the Aberdeen legislative cracker barrel this last Saturday. Since that time I’ve spoken with a few sportsmen who think this bill will create havoc for waterfowl hunters because it will allow out-of-staters to destroy our waterfowl resources. I disagree. The bill is very restrictive as to who can get the license, and chances are fewer than expected numbers will even apply for one of these special licenses. If it does dramatically increase the number of hunters, I think that is a good thing. The number of hunting licenses sold has been declining for years. This may bring more revenue into the state while allowing South Dakota residents to bring their family home more often for hunting. That seems like a win-win to me…

HB1187: Parents choice bill successfully forced out of committee

February 24, 2014 6 comments

Smoke_detectorToday was an up and down day for those of hoping for action from the South Dakota Legislature in the battle against Common Core. This morning the House Education Committee took action on three bills. All three bills were related to Common Core in one way or another. Sadly the two important bills were defeated in committee. But one of those bills was not going to be left for dead.

Before going into the revived bill, it is worth looking at what the House Ed committee actually took action on. The first bill was HB1075; which had the stated purpose to “provide for public notice of certain hearings conducted by the Board of Education, and to require that the hearings be conducted at least sixty days apart.” This bill passed the committee easily. Sadly this was a hollow victory. SD Secretary of Education Schopp actually testified in favor of this bill. She says the bill reinforces what her department already does. I disagree with her interpretation of the past, but at least it is in codified law for any future attempts at adding Common Core related standards.

The second bill taken up for action was HB1187. HB1187 would allow parents to opt their children out of certain assessments, especially the Smarter Balance Assessment tied to Common Core. It is important to remember that these assessments have nothing to do with a child’s grade or educational advancement. The assessments are used purely for statistical purposes in order to quantify how well Common Core is doing. That approach is bad for many reasons. But the reasons are less important than the fact parents currently are forbidden from opting their children out of these assessments. This bill would put some power  back into the hands of parents. Sadly the committee voted this bill to the 41st legislative day, thereby killing the bill….

The third and final bill acted upon by the House Ed Committee was HB1243. HB1243 is a bill I really liked. It would have forced the SD Department of Education and South Dakota Board of Education to focus on curriculum best suited to South Dakota students; as opposed to Common Core, which actually outsources our curriculum to distant bureaucrats. Sadly this bill was also defeated in committee by sending it to the 41st day. This was the bill I really wanted to hear debated on the House floor, but that won’t happen this year…

Going into the afternoon House session Rep Bolin led a smokeout attempt to resurrect HB1187. Smokeouts are used to force a bill out of committee and on to the floor. A successful smokeout in the House requires 24 representatives to stand. The smokeout was successful! According to David Montgomery it may have just made the required 24 standing to survive. Since there was a successful smokeout of the bill, it required the House Ed committee to have a special meeting after the House session today. The committee Chair Rep Sly did not seem too pleased with this result. That isn’t surprising, she was one of the reps championing the bills defeat.

Tomorrow the bill still has some hurdles to face. Earlier today when I had questions about smokouts Montgomery pointed me to this Joint Rule applicable for HB1187 and how it will be handled tomorrow:

7-8. Placement of “smoked-out” bill or resolution on calendar. If a bill or resolution is delivered to the House of Representatives or Senate pursuant to Joint Rule 7-7 on the last day for passage and it was not reported “Do Pass,” the bill or resolution may, by motion approved by a majority of the members-elect of the House of Representatives or Senate, be placed on that day’s calendar.

So, even though the bill was forced out of committee it does not guarantee a vote tomorrow. I would assume the House Ed special committee session will send the bill to the floor with a status of ‘no recommendation’ or ‘do not pass’. In that case 36 of the 70 representatives will have to vote Yes to allow the bill to be placed on the calendar. If the 36 votes are not reached the bill will have died once again.

If the bill does get voted onto the calendar, it would still have to survive a Do Pass vote. That again would require a majority of representatives. Right now I’m not so sure there is enough support on the floor to survive both votes. Hopefully enough constituents will pressure their representatives tonight and tomorrow morning so the numbers can be pushed in favor of passing HB1187.

It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow…

South Dakota 2014 Legislature: bills to watch in Committees on Feb 24

February 23, 2014 Comments off

binocularsMonday, Feb 24, is the 25th legislative day for the South Dakota Legislature. This is an important day because it is the last day a bill can be moved to the floor if it is in its house of origin. Here are a few of the bills I think are worthy of attention in Monday’s committee meetings.

House Education Committee
Agenda – 7:45 am

HB1075
Purpose: provide for public notice of certain hearings conducted by the Board of Education, and to require that the hearings be conducted at least sixty days apart.

I believe this bill may be tabled. Testimony was heard for this bill on Feb 7, and action was deferred. It has a Senate counterpart, SB64, which has passed the Senate and the House Education Committee already. Hopefully SB64 passes the house, there haven’t been many victories opposing Common Core this session…

HB1187
Purpose: provide for the exemption of certain students from the requirement to take certain academic assessment tests.

Testimony was heard on this bill last week, with action deferred to the 24th. Hopefully this bill can pass. This bill is important because it would allow parents to opt their children out of the Smarter Balance Assessments. These assessments have nothing to do with a child’s grade and do nothing to advance their education. They will be used for statistics purposes only and are a part of Common Core.

HB1243
Purpose: supplant the Common Core Standards.

The Senate version of this bill was killed by the Senate Ed committee last week. That leaves this bill as a vehicle to truly get Common Core out of South Dakota. Testimony was heard on the bill last week, with action deferred to the 24th. I thought the proponents of this bill did great. On the opponent side it was tiring listening to Secretary of Ed Schopp us the same debunked talking points. Hopefully the House Ed committee can pass this on to the House floor!

Senate Transportation Committee
Agenda – 8:00 am

HB1036
Purpose: revise certain provisions regarding the billboard permitting process.

This was a bad bill when the House Transportation Committee passed it, and then the House floor passed it. This is a bill brought forward by the State to cower before the Federal government because they MIGHT do something in the future. Rep Kaiser did a great job speaking against it in the Transportation Committee. And Rep Nelson brought forth a bill that does the opposite of this bill, HB1232. HB1232 basically said that if state and local laws are followed then the DOT has to follow the law and issue permits for billboards. Sadly HB1232 died on the House floor. Hopefully the Senate Transportation committee will kill this bill that says the DOT can continue to arbitrarily enforce South Dakota law based upon what the DOT thinks the federal government MIGHT want.

Senate State Affairs Committee
Agenda – 10:00 am

SB181
Purpose: prohibit the sale of tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, and vapor products to minors, and to provide a penalty therefor.

This is a topic I’ve been meaning to blog about for a long time, and will probably have to do a full post on it sooner than later. The new vapor products have been over-hyped and there is a lot of bad information out there about them. I have a feeling the proponents of this bill will pass on this misinformation. Hopefully this bill is sent to the 41st day so the legislature doesn’t act hasty on ‘feel-good’ legislation.

South Dakota 2014 Legislature: Senate Bills signed into law so far

February 23, 2014 2 comments

nicubunu_ScrollEarlier I did a post looking at the South Dakota House Bills passed into law so far this legislative session. This post looks at the Senate bills that have passed both houses and signed into law by Governor Daugaard. Here is my take on each of the Senate bills passed into law so far this year.

  • SB30 – Purpose: provide for the definition of an advanced practice registered nurse, to remove certification as a function of the Board of Nursing in issuing a license to a certified registered nurse anesthetist, and to change the nurses’ education loan assistance program to a scholarship program.
    This seems mostly be a cleanup bill. It also seems to clarify the current law for those going into nursing.
  • SB34 Purpose: revise certain provisions concerning applications for absentee ballot and to declare an emergency.
    This is a bill that sounds good, but has a potential huge problems with it. It expands the ability of  services member to perform electronic voting. Rep Latterell pointed out how often government websites and databases are hacked into. Do we really want to open our election system to potential hacking? The security risks involved don’t seem to outweigh the benefits gained at this time.
  • SB35 – Purpose: revise the conditions for which certain elections may be delayed for an emergency situation and to declare an emergency.
    This bill provided more guidance to local elections in emergency situations, such as blizzards. Rep Russel voted Nay on the house floor. I’m not seeing any reason to oppose this one, it seemed to be asked for by local municipalities.
  • SB56 – Purpose: revise certain provisions regarding auditing standards used by the Department of Revenue.
    This bill makes a couple of language corrections and updates the auditing standards used to a newer version. Just a basic cleanup bill.
  • SB57 – Purpose: repeal certain provisions regarding the regulation of the trading stamp business.
    This is an area I didn’t realize needed a license. It’s good to see the legislature remove a whole section of unnecessary code.
  • SB58 – Purpose: provide for permits to be issued for certain harvest vehicles.
    This changes the stickers used by DOT to a paper permit for certain harvest vehicles. This will allow the state to save money and potentially streamline the process for those getting the permit. This looks like a good law change.
  • SB80 – Purpose: provide a credit to homebuilt aircraft for sales and use taxes when paying the aircraft registration tax and to make a reimbursement to the aeronautics fund for the amount of the credit granted.
    This seems to be a good law. It says the sales and use taxes paid out in construction of a homemade aircraft shall be applied when paying the aircraft registration tax. That eliminates double taxation.

The Senate bills passed into law so far are really aimed at cleanups and clarifying current law. Hopefully this trend will continue as session continues. Like I said with the House bills, any time the legislature ‘takes action’ it has the potential to reduce liberty. I hope we can go the whole session with minimal losses of liberty!

South Dakota 2014 Legislature: House Bills signed into law so far

February 23, 2014 2 comments

nicubunu_ScrollI was just looking through the list of House Bills South Dakota Governor Daugaard has signed into law so far. It might be a good time to actually look at what our legislature has decided is important enough to pass both houses and then have the governor sign. Here is my take on each of the House Bills signed into law (the Senate bills will be on a separate post).

  • HB1009 – Purpose: repeal the creation of the commemorative medallion fund.
    This repeals § 1-6-23. House Appropriations testimony on this bill said the commemorative medallion fund hasn’t been used in years. Seems to be a good cleanup of old code.
  • HB1010 – Purpose: repeal the tree nursery reserve fund.
    This repeals § 41-22-4. House Appropriations testimony said this fund was no longer used. Another good cleanup of old code.
  • HB1016 – Purpose: repeal certain outdated or unnecessary statutes and administrative rules pertaining to the Department of Public Safety.
    This is one that repealed a lot of old code. I see Rep Kaiser voted no. On his Facebook page he had this to say why he voted no: “I voted no on HB 1016, it removed the following from state law : interstate motor carrier is subject to control of the department only to the extent permitted by the constitution of the united states.” That bit of code actually appeared to be a good check on the Dept of Public Safety.
  • HB1017 – Purpose: repeal certain outdated and unnecessary statutes related to the Department of Social Services.
    Another cleanup bill that removed a lot of code pertaining to the Dept of Social Services.
  • HB1018 – Purpose: revise certain provisions regarding the record-keeping process of child welfare agencies to the Department of Social Services.
    I don’t see any problems with this bill. It codified that childrens records at DSS be kept confidential.
  • HB1024 – Purpose: place certain substances on the controlled substances schedule and to declare an emergency.
    This was a bill I briefly mentioned in a post earlier this session. The bill adds more ‘designer drugs’ to the controlled substances schedule. Just an attempt to keep up the battles in a failed drug war. This is a bad bill that shows the current political environment in South Dakota doesn’t realize its continuing to push a failed policy.
  • HB1026 – Purpose: provide for the transfer of the state’s interests in the Webster National Guard armory and underlying land to the city of Webster.
    I think its great the state gave the armory and land to the city of Webster. Seems like a good bill passed into law.
  • HB1027 – Purpose: provide for the transfer of the state’s interests in the Watertown National Guard armory to the city of Watertown.
    Just as with the Webster bill, this looks like a good bill passed into law.
  • HB1032 – Purpose: revise certain provisions regarding children placed in residential treatment centers or intensive residential treatment centers.
    This seems to clean up language and clarify the existing language.
  • HB1035 – Purpose: provide certain provisions relating to the executive branch internship program.
    This created an internship program for the Bureau of Human Resources. I don’t see a problem with this. I personally think internships are great in any industry (including governmental).
  • HB1037 – Purpose: authorize the Transportation Commission to establish limited speed zones on nonstate trunk highways under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation.
    This is one I actually listened to testimony on, and thought Kaiser did a good job opposing it in committee. Here is Kaiser’s Facebook reason for voting no on the bill when it hit the floor vote: “I voted no on HB 1037, an act to allow the DOT to establish speed zones on certain roads. The proponents of this bill pointed out area’s in SD where speed limit signs had been posted and presumably enforcement and arrests have occurred, however they pointed out the state never had the authority of post the speed limits, so the state has been illegally enforcing laws on the public and now wanted to pass this law. Now that the law has passed, the illegal activity by the state will be hidden.” This looks like the legislature trying to cover up for illegal activity of the State. I’m glad Kaiser was able to bring that up, otherwise we might not have realized it!
  • HB1044 – Purpose: authorize limited cosmetology services outside of a licensed salon or booth.
    This bill seems to clean up the language already there. Just another cleanup bill.
  • HB1047 – Purpose: revise various trust and trust company provisions.
    Most of this bill seems to be language cleanup. Plus it seems to add some clarification language.
  • HB1048 – Purpose: repeal certain provisions regarding property and casualty insurance.
    Another cleanup bill that removed sections of code no loner necessary.
  • HB1049 – Purpose: establish and revise certain provisions regarding the South Dakota Athletic Commission.
    I have mixed feelings on this one. As a fan of MMA I am glad we are one step closer to big MMA events in South Dakota. Last year the commission was created, but the legislature failed to give them any power. But now this law may give them too much power. This from Kaisers Facebook page: “I voted no on HB 1049, revise provisions regarding athletic commission. This bill gives bureaucrats the ability to make rules (with fines). They will have the ability to deny location requests of where the games will be held. I think too much power in the hand of bureaucrats.”
  • HB1053 – Purpose: revise certain provisions regarding the regulation of insurance rating organizations.
    This seemed to be a lot of cleanup and some code modification. I see Rep Greenfield and Rep Latterell voted no on the House Floor. Rep Greenfield also voted no in the Commerce and Energy committee. During committee an amendment did a small fix by making sure the ‘director shall’ issue a licence, instead of just may. That removed the ability of the director make arbitrary judgments to issue a license. I’m not really sure of the reasons for the no votes.
  • HB1055 – Purpose: revise certain provisions regarding references to the Internal Revenue Code.
    This bill fixed references to IRS code from 2013 to 2014. It seems aimed at nonprofits. Just code updating.
  • HB1057 – Purpose: repeal certain provisions imposing the inheritance tax and the estate tax.
    This bill removed a lot of old code that is no longer needed. It had been left over to deal with the taxes in question after they were repealed because it was needed to handle the tax for so many years after its repeal. Now its at the point all of the old code can be removed. Just a simple cleanup law.
  • HB1070 – Purpose: sunset certain tax refund claims for an economic development incentive program that has been previously terminated and to declare an emergency.
    The program in question ended a couple of years ago. This bill says anyone submitting a claim from that program has until May2014 to make their claim. Any money unclaimed will go the general fund for FY2015. Rep Nelson and Rep Russel voted Nay. Since it’s a bill that has little interest  to me, I didn’t bother trying to find out why the no vote.
  • HB1080 – Purpose: clarify that emergency personnel driving records are not to include motor vehicle accidents resulting while engaged in the performance of their official duties.
    Another cleanup bill. Most of the cleanup makes the laws language more concise.

Since these bills were passed in the first half of session there are a lot of ‘cleanup’ bills. That is actually what I like to see. I hate it whenever the legislators in Pierre ‘take action’. It seems like any time a government body takes action that a little bit of liberty is lost. The couple of bills above that I don’t like are examples of that…

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