Home > 2014 SD Legislative Session, South Dakota > South Dakota 2014 Legislature: bills to watch in Committees on Feb 20

South Dakota 2014 Legislature: bills to watch in Committees on Feb 20

February 19, 2014

liftarn_English_lawyer_early_20th_century.Thursday, Feb 20, is the 23rd legislative day for the South Dakota Legislature. Today I listened to testimony in a number of a committees and heard many bills killed by sending them to the 41st legislative day. Well see if that trend continues tomorrow. Here are just a few of the bills that will be in front of committees on Feb 20 that I think are worth taking note of.

House Taxation Committee
Agenda – 7:45 am

Purpose: restrict access to certain waters that inundate private property.

This bill clarifies current law. It basically says that a sportsman cant trespass and shoot a gun on public water on top of private land that is within 60 feet of an occupied dwelling or livestock; even if public water inundates that land happens to be frozen or the person is using a boat. In other words, sporstmen can’t say “I wasn’t touching the ground, so I wasn’t on the private land when I shot my gun”.

Purpose: provide for reimbursement of property taxes paid on certain private lands inundated by the waters of nonmeandered lakes.

Basically this bill would allow a farmer to get his property taxes reimbursed by the GFP if a nonmeandered lake overflows onto land that was farm-able before being flooded. The property tax refund would only be for the land that is flooded, and thus no longer farm-able. I would be OK with this bill under once circumstance. If that shoreline of the nonmeandered lake is available for use by the public, then I have no problem with reimbursing the landowner their property taxes. However if that shoreline and land under the water will be treated as private property then the farmer should pay taxes and hope the lake dries up so he can farm it again in the future.

Purpose: lower the state sales and use tax on certain food items and to increase the rate of taxation for the sales and use tax on certain goods and services.

This bill would be good if its purpose was only “lower the state sales and use tax”. But nope, the bill is instead an attempt to raise the sales tax in South Dakota, and further complicate the sales & use tax. The worse part of this is where it changes the basic state sales tax from four percent to “a tax of four and thirty-five hundredths percent”. So the new general sales tax would be 4.35%. That is a tax increase.

House Health and Human Services Committee
Agenda – 7:45 am

Purpose: prohibit the performance of abortions due to Down syndrome and to provide a penalty therefor.

Purpose: prohibit the dismemberment or decapitation of certain living unborn children and to provide penalties therefore.

This is a duo of bills to prohibit abortions in South Dakota. Looking at these bills I can’t see any reason someone would oppose these bills. But I guess I’ll find out tomorrow if I am wrong…

Senate Education Committee
Agenda – 7:45am

Purpose: Expressing concern relating to the Common Core State Standards.

This is a good CR, and well worth reading the whole thing. I probably wont’ listen to testimony on this one, just because I am tired of hearing Secretary of Ed Schopp giving the same old talking points each time in support of Common Core. The final sentence of this SCR sums it up well though: “Therefore, the Legislature rejects this CCSS plan which creates and fits the country with a nationwide straitjacket on academic freedom and achievement.”

Purpose: revise the per student allocation in the state aid to general education formula.

This bill was heard on the 18th. I feel the same about this bill as I did in my list of bills for that day: basically I agree in theory it would be nice to make the minimal increase for education 3% as this bill would make it. But at the same time that may leave the state in a tough position if there is an economic downfall. But right now I would like the committee to pass the bill out to the Senate floor and let it get a debate out there. After all the SD legislature is committed via the state Constitution to funding public education (legislators can’t pick which parts of the constitution they like).

Senate Commerce and Energy Committee
Agenda – 10:00 am

Purpose: provide for the registration and administration of navigators under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and to declare an emergency.

This one is interesting because it is directly aimed at Obamacare. The ‘navigators’ are a federally created insurance agents, which are not operating under state laws as other insurance agents are. This bill attempts to rectify that situation. Hopefully the  bill can make it through committee with no problems.

Purpose: Petitioning Congress to provide for an audit of the Federal Reserve Bank.

I actually posted about this CR urging its passage about a month ago. The CR passed the House, hopefully it can make it through the Senate as well. Anyone truly worried about the economic state of our country should support this bill.

 Senate Government Operations and Audit
Agenda – 3:00 PM or immediately after session

Purpose: develop a systematic process for the performance management review of state agencies.

This is a bill I think could really help the state agencies run more efficiently. Bringing government agencies inline with current corporate best practices sounds like a good idea. The only problem I have with this bill is I think lack of transparency is a larger issue with state agencies. I wish transparency was also addressed with the performance management. This also has to be done carefully, implementing performance management theoretically will help reduce some of the bureaucracy; but I’ve seen it backfire and make bureaucratic processes even worse.

  1. Merlyn Schutterle
    February 21, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    If the state decides there will be no more abortions, then it needs to take responsibility for its unintended consequences. There was no mention of that. It’s an issue based on emotions. Emotions are a very poor thing to base decisions on.

    There is no such thing as Obomacare. Quit calling it that. That is just a derogatory word designed by conservatives with misplaced anger issues.

    I notice there is no bill to simplify the justice system. We need relief from lawyers and all the ridiculous fees we have to pay. It costs money to access the legal system. Justice can be paid for by rich, but not the poor. Count the lawyers in the House and you will understand why. Get the focus off of the obsolete, inefficient justice system so we can focus on Common Core which will not change anything in a significant way.

    • February 21, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      No such thing as Obamacare? It is a word used by Obama himself? I don’t see how that is derogatory. Whether it is called Obamacare, ACA,PPACA or anything else doesn’t change what it is.

      • Merlyn Schutterle
        February 22, 2014 at 10:10 am

        It’s a word the so-called conservatives invented and does have a negative connotation. That is why FOX uses it all the time- especially the Hannity insanity. They did a study and when it was called PPACA people thought it was a good idea but when they called it Obama Care, they thought it was a bad idea. Words mean something.

      • February 22, 2014 at 4:06 pm

        That may be where the word started, but that does not mean it is wrong to use it. Yes, words mean something. That is exactly why I opposed politically sanitized speech. When ‘clean’ language is used for political gains it allows politicians to get away with things and constituents have no clue as to what is going on. A society that uses politically correct language is also a society that does not care about what is actually being done on their behalf.

      • Merlyn Schutterle
        February 23, 2014 at 1:06 pm

        It may or may not be wrong to use it, but Rush, Hanity Insanity and most of the so-called conservatives love to use that term because it is has a negative perception. When that term gets confused with the real term and the perception is different, then I have sense enough not to use it. Call it politically correct if you like, but there isn’t anything wrong with being just plain correct. I think it has a little more class.

  2. February 22, 2014 at 6:39 pm

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