Home > 2014 SD Legislative Session, South Dakota > SD Bills signed into law on March 26

SD Bills signed into law on March 26

March 30, 2014

johnny_automatic_money_bagsOn March 26 SD Governor Dennis Daugaard signed a little over two dozen more bills into law. Below I have included brief thoughts about each of these bills. This time there are a few BAD bills that got signed into law. Specifically the general appropriations bills and the $30 million that was thrown at Governor Daugards friends Building South Dakota. I’m a bit behind on these posts. The Governor has signed one more batch of bills emptying his desk; I will post about those tomorrow.

SB 26An Act to establish certain electronic crime victim notification procedures.

I like this bill. It cleaned up some old code and modernized the way notices can be distributed.

SB 28 An Act to make an appropriation for certain costs related to mountain pine beetle suppression and to declare an emergency.

This bill appropriated $1,950,000 to use in the fight against the mountain pine beetle. This is a huge issue west-river, but honestly I haven’t followed it too closely. But for $2 million I would expect to see results in the future!

SB 36An Act to transfer the functions of the South Dakota Railroad Authority to the South Dakota Railroad Board.

I don’t see a problem with this one. I’m not sure it was necessary. But I do like that the new language ensures no elected official is appointed to the board.

SB 37An Act to revise the state aid to general education formula.             

This one changed the per student allocation from $4389.95 to $4764.42. Considering the millions of “free” money found from unclaimed property this last year I thought the governor and legislature could have done better than this. But instead the legislature gave that money to the Governors program to support friends of his that have large businesses.

SB 38An Act to revise the state aid to special education formula.           

This one provided the same increase in education funding, but for students with disabilities. I don’t see a problem with this one, and don’t know enough about this area to know if it was sufficient.

SB 53An Act to make appropriations to fund certain programs and projects that provide economic benefits to South Dakotans and to declare an emergency.

This is a bill I hate on many levels. The original bill was to give half a million dollars to the failed South Dakota Roots program. Luckily that went away. But it went away because the bill was hoghoused (completely changed) on the House Floor. I hate it when bills are hoghoused on the floor after all public hearings have been done. That is a step purposely taken by the legislature to ensure public hearings do not take place on certain bills. In this case the hoghoused spreads a few million dollars between a few distinctly different areas. These areas may or may not be worthy of that money. Regardless of how worthy those causes are I will say this was a bad bill because of the sneaky means that were used to pass it.

SB 68An Act to adopt the uniform real property electronic recording act, to use an existing funding source to implement the provisions of this Act, and to revise certain provisions concerning electronic recording.

This was a good change to current code. Basically it allows more physical media (such as paper) to be stored electronically. As a paper-reduction type person I fully support this change.

SB 81An Act to prohibit the possession of certain items in jails, to provide a penalty therefor, and to revise the penalty for the procurement of certain items into a jail.

This one clarifies nonprescription drug possession by inmates. I don’t see any problems with this one… or any pressing need for the change.

SB 85An Act to revise certain provisions regarding confidential criminal justice information.

I like this change. It makes sure that police call logs “shall” be released to the public instead of “may” be released. One word makes a large difference.

SB 90An Act to revise certain provisions related to the High School Activities Association.

This was a hot issue this year. At the heart is whether a private association that has funding enacted through the legislature should be forced to comply with open meeting laws. Ironically the HSAA had a closed-door meeting to determine whether they should be forced out into the open. The HSAA also tried to implement some changes on their own after they seen this bill (or the House version that was tabled) would be passed. This bill passing into law was good for transparency in the HSAA organization, which is tied very closely to public schools.

SB 99An Act to revise certain provisions regarding self-funded multiple employer trusts.

This is a hoghouse vehicle bill. Basically bills like these are passed so they can be filled in later. The only good news with this particular vehicle bill is that it at least was hoghoused in committee, so public input was possible. As to the bill itself, it seems like a good change. But honestly it isn’t my area of expertise or interest so I didn’t research further (hopefully those voting for it actually did some research, but I doubt it….).

SB 125 An Act to prohibit registered sex offenders from loitering in certain areas.

I’m not sure what this one was trying to fix. It clarifies that registered sex offenders cannot loiter at the library. Since a library is where people tend to loiter (looking at books and such); how is someone to determine if a registered sex offender is loitering at a library for purposes other than books? This seems like a law being passed simply to look tough on sex offenders; yet actually does nothing.

SB 143 An Act to provide for a civil remedy for a bad faith assertion of patent infringement.

This one tries to fight back against patent trolls. It’s actually good to see the South Dakota legislature tackle this issue. I will be interested to see if this legislation actually helps in the battle against patent trolls (I have my doubts).

SB 157An Act to make an appropriation to the building South Dakota fund and to declare an emergency.

This is the number one BAD appropriation of the year! This bill takes the $30,000,000 that Governor Daugaard took from the unclaimed property fund to pre-fund Building South Dakota. The Building South Dakota fund is what the GOED office uses on the Governors behalf to choose winners and losers in the market. This is a big government program. Accounting tricks were used to ‘prove’ pre-payment of this fund will ‘save money’ for the state. Sadly our legislator fell for this trick………

SB 168An Act to authorize criminal background checks for certain officers and employees of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

This is another hoghouse vehicle bill. It passed in the Senate with nothing in it. Think about that for a minute. The South Dakota Senate passed a bill over the other body with nothing in it….  That is like giving the other body a blank check. The actual final bill I don’t really care about. I would rather see GOED go away, instead of creating more rules for it to survive under..

SB 172An Act to revise certain provisions relating to services performed by dental hygienists.

This one appears to be updating the agreement between Delta Dental and the Indian Health Service (IHS). Nothing to worry about. But if the legislature was worried about health issues on the reservations they would look at the many problems with IHS. IHS seems to be making matters worse on the reservations with its bureaucracy.

SB 187An Act to appropriate money for the ordinary expenses of the legislative, judicial, and executive departments of the state, the expenses of state institutions, interest on the public debt, and for common schools.

This one I hope to do a separate post on. This is the general appropriations bill. And it is BAD!!! Here is a summary of the bill from Rep Nelson: “My dear fellow South Dakotans: For the third year in a row, the Legislature and the governor increased spending and the size of South Dakota’s government. The general appropriations bill SB 187 for this year increased spending from last session’s HB 1185 general appropriations bill by about $169 million and 124 new full-time state employees.” Read all he has to say here. All I can say is that the appropriations bill is nowhere near what I would call fiscally conservative.

HB 1087 An Act to change how rural fire protection districts conduct elections.

This seems to be a good change. Changes the requirement from property owners to registered voters.

HB 1100An Act to prohibit the use of certain photo monitoring devices to detect red light violations.

I like this one. It prevents government entities from trampling on civil rights using red light cameras. The red light cameras were never about public safety. They have been found to be faulty and used to drive revenue for municipalities that use them.

HB 1113An Act to make an appropriation to fund tax refunds for elderly persons and persons with a disability and to declare an emergency.

Personally I would prefer a tax break for everyone, but I guess we take what we can get. Now grandpa con continue having lower property taxes if he doesn’t have a lot of money. The problem with this bill is that it goes off of income. I know many that use this program and would be far from being considered poor. Yet because they are retired and their income shows small they fit into this program. That is one of the problems with progressivism in the tax code, it doesn’t look at reality.

HB 1127An Act to provide an exemption for alimony payments in debtor filings.

I don’t understand why alimony payments should be removed from debtor filings. Other types of income are not included. I see this as a bad change.

HB 1129An Act to prohibit the use of certain explosive targets in the Black Hills Forest Fire Protection District.

This was a bad bill. The bill was brought in response to some fires started in the Black Hills after some dipsticks used this targets. Yet it wasn’t the targets that started the fire. These targets don’t actually combust as they appear to. In the cases where the fires were started there were other propellants set up in a way to actually cause a big fire and/or explosion. This new law would not have prevented the fires that already happened because those people were already using the product wrong. All this law did was add more ‘feel-good’ regulation to people with no actual impact on improving public safety.

HB 1143An Act to repeal certain provisions regarding unemployment insurance benefit eligibility of workers attending approved training.

This repeals old code. I don’t see a problem with it.

HB 1148An Act to provide a license for certain businesses to allow patrons to manufacture malt beverages and wines on the licensed premises for personal use.

This is an odd one for me. It allows for the a ‘retail on premises manufacturer’ to get a $250 licence to make malt beverages or wine. Then it goes on to restrict malt beverages or wine made for personal use by saying it cannot be made in a persons business (like in the basement). This whole bill shows the sector is already over-regulated. What I really want to see is a change allowing the distilling of spirits so people can legally make some whiskey at home or for small-scale retail sale.

HB 1162An Act to prohibit the practice of sex-selective abortions, to establish certain procedures to better ensure that sex-selective abortions are not practiced in South Dakota, and to provide penalties therefor.

This one prevents someone from aborting children based purely upon the sex. There are cultures where this does happen. The bill was done to make sure the practice doesn’t happen in South Dakota. Realistically the law does nothing since someone deciding to abort a child just for the sex likely won’t tell the doctor that anyhow.

HB 1166An Act to revise the telecommunications services program to include current and developing technology.

The Governor is apparently so proud of this law that he announced it separately from the other bills signed on March 26. Daugaard touts that this program will allow the State to purchase Iphones for deaf people. While I applaud getting those with disabilities the tools that can make their life go easier in society; I fail to see how this is the job of the South Dakota government to expand on its own Obamaphone-like program. This is especially true since this bill expanded to an almost overly-vague definition of who can get one of these phones.

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