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Frerichs, McCleerey and Feickert at the Brown County Democrat March meeting

March 27, 2015 3 comments

On March 26, 2015, the Brown County Democrats held their monthly meeting at the Eagles club in Aberdeen. Sen Jason Frerichs (D, Dist 1), Rep Steven McCleerey (D, Dist 1), and Rep Dennis Feickert (D, Dist 1) were all guest speakers to give their perspective about how the SD 2015 legislative session went. In this post I’ll pull out some of the highlights of what they each had to say (and keep my editorial comments to a minimum)

Sen Frerichs speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 03/26/15.

Sen Frerichs speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 03/26/15.

Frerichs was the first legislator to speak. He opened up by noting that the Senate Democrat caucus actually gained one member in 2015. Along those lines he noted it would have been nice to keep Chuck Welke in the Senate, but he was defeated last fall by Sen Brock Greenfield  (R, Dist 2). He noted that each additional person in the Senate gives the Democrat caucus a little more power, but they need to work on getting at least a third of the Senate to make any real headway. I would agree, in 2016 the Democrats should work hard on getting twelve seats in the Senate if they truly want to have any impact in Pierre.

When talking about this session, Frerichs noted a big theme of this session was that big issues were being avoided. The issues he brought up that were ignored this year include Medicaid Expansion, teacher pay, and teacher recruitment. He believes those issues were “brought up, and placed on top, and placed to the side. And that is unfortunate.”

When talking about the roads bill SB 1 Frerichs noted that the Governor wanted the roads bill and “wants it bad”. He noted the first time going through the Senate he voted no to SB1 quite easily because it really didn’t do much for local governments. Frerichs noted that the conference committee for the bill was one of the worst he has ever seen in Pierre (and I would agree). He noted the bill kept getting delayed during the conference committee process and that the House was holding it up. From his perspective it wasn’t even a Republican vs Democrat issue. It was purely the House trying to control the bill. On the Senate side he noted the Democrats were being lobbied hard to vote for SB1, because they were a couple of votes short in the Republican caucus. Frerichs said that was a good opportunity for the Democrats to push for more local money. The final bill he felt was more “leveled out” so he voted for it the second time. (My summary of what is in SB 1 can be read here).

Frerichs then went on to talk about the water management bills SB 2 and SB 3. Both of these are bills he worked hard on to get passed and will continue to work with going forward. SB 2 creates nine river basin natural resource districts. He also mentioned it creates a pilot project in his area of the state and has a legislative oversight taskforce. He believes there will be a lot of work implementing SB2. He noted that the districts will be a work in progress. When talking about the districts he doesn’t think they will solve all of the water problems; but he does think the program will get the state down the right path of managing the water in the river basins. He said “we shouldn’t just sit back and let mother nature rule us.” That was an interesting segway into his next point. He noted the legislature also passed legislation providing funding for the pine beetle situation west river (SB 152). He noted that west river is fighting to save their property and their economy from a mother nature problem. Further, he finished that thought by saying “This is our pine beetle problem of the east”.

Rep McCleerey speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 03/26/15.

Rep McCleerey speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 03/26/15.

McCleerey said if he had to sum up the session in one word it would be “frustrating”. He believes there is a lack of leadership “coming from the other side” and coming from the Governor’s office. He believes that is an unfortunate situation for the people of South Dakota. When talking about the youth minimum wage bill (SB 177) he felt the Governor should have used a veto. That seemed to tie into the lack of leadership points he made.

Briefly McCleerey mentioned something I have noted and plan to a post about in the future. He felt the time being put in while at Pierre is not sufficient. It was frustrating for him that session ended so early every day, and then on Friday they would be out of there at 1:30 pm.

McCleerey also took a few minutes to talk about the highway bill. He noted that when campaigning transportation funding was one of his top issues. But he was hesitant to vote for the bill because it was a such a “poor bill from the start”. The addition of the interstate top speed of 80 mph made the bill even worse for him. He did vote yes to the bill in the end.

Looking to the future McCleerey stated he believes the 2016 legislative session will be about Medicaid expansion and education funding. After that he believes the next two session will be about the Governors race. He doesn’t believe anything substantial will be done in 2017 and 2018 from his perspective. (I agree with him on these points, I would say the run for Governor in 2018 has already started, but that is a topic for a different post).

Talking about bills before the Health & Human Service’s committee, McCleerey mentioned HB 1080. HB 1080 allows investigational treatments to be used by patients under certain conditions. He was happy to the bill passed so it could help people out.

McCleerey was disappointed to see the tanning bed prohibition for minors (HB 1166) was not passed. He says cancer is increasing at an extreme rate. He says the bill was stopped by “small business libertarian types”. He felt it was almost embarrassing that the bill could not be passed, even though it had been amended many times to work out the differences. He felt it was wrong to choose between cancer and small businesses. Going further, he noted that a bill was passed to allow the use of a chemo therapy pill to treat cancer (SB 101) but the legislature couldn’t pass a bill to prevent cancer.

At the end of his time McCleerey noted the Republicans “are a split party”. He hopes the Democrats can capitalize on the split that is evident in the SD Republican party.

Rep Feickert speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 03/26/15.

Rep Feickert speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 03/26/15.

Feickert began by saying it was a disappointing how few bills the transportation committee actually took up this year. He noted that many of the bills that went before Transportation dealt more with updating the dates referenced in law. He was truly disappointed in SB 1 because there was discussion about where the road funding bill should go. Due to politics, he said that there was a push to get the transportation funding bill taken out of Transportation and put into State Affairs. The committee actually voted to keep the bill in Transportation. Then the next day it voted on the House floor to force the bill out of Transportation and into State Affairs. He said from that point on the massive transportation bill really didn’t have any involvement from the Transportation committee. (This is another issue that deserves a separate post, Feickert has a good point about the politics of this bill).

When going into specifics about SB 1, Feickert noted he was not happy with the tiered property tax portion of the bill. He said this new method of funding roads is “worse than an opt-out”. He believes the tiers are going to hurt big population counties. When it comes to property tax funding he felt the Governor’s original proposal was much better, but that was changed on the Senate floor.

Feickert also felt it was bad that the bill asking for a study on taxing agricultural land by its actual use was not passed (SB 4). He felt the study would have been able to show what the impact would be if a production-based property tax was implemented. Many opponents of the bill said it would negatively impact school funding. Feickert said the study should have been approved so it could be determined if that was true. Along the same lines he mention the bill that would have created a new leased residential property classification (SB 100). SB 100 was vetoed by the Governor. He feels the same arguments for SB 100 should have been used for SB 4. But at the same time he questioned whether landords would actually have passed savings on to renters if SB 100 had been implemented and a new lower tax levy was created for it.

Overall I would say all three legislators tried to make the case that it is hard to serve in a party that is in a super-minority. But all three noted that division within the Republican party does allow for them to have power at certain times. If they can get more numbers in the 2016 election it might open a new door for Democrats. (That is a BIG IF at this point).

46 bills Governor Daugaard announced signed into law on March 12

March 13, 2015 3 comments
SD House Floor. Photo by Ken Santema 03/10/15.

SD House Floor. Photo by Ken Santema 03/10/15.

On Thursday, March 12, Governor Daugaard announced forty-five more bills signed into law. He also announced signing the bill to reform Juvenile Justice System. That adds up to a total of forty-six bills signed into law on March 12.

Posts on the previous bills signed into law during the SD 2015 SD legislative session can be found hereherehereherehereherehere, here, and here.

The Juvenile Justice Reform bill SB 73 is probably the big news from this group. The Governor and Chief Justice believe this reform “it is expected that 29 percent fewer juveniles will be on probation in the next 5 years and more than 50 percent fewer youth will placed in state-funded facilities by 2020.”

SB 73 – SoDakLiberty PostsImprove public safety regarding juvenile justice.

This bill passed through the Senate and through House State Affairs with no opposition. It met with some resistance on the House floor, but still easily passed by a vote of 60-7. This is part of the Governors and Chief Justices initiative to reform SD’s horrendous juvenile incarceration rates. This bill would mirror some of the steps taken to reform the incarceration rates for adults. Parts of this bill has some good ideas and changes. But until the state actually looks at reducing the number of victim-less offenses that are crimes, there will continue to be an outrageous number of people in SD locked up for no reason. But having said that, I do think this bill provides an improvement over what is currently. The thing to watch with this initiative is what it does to county budgets. The adult reform has already shiften financial burden from the State to the counties; and this juvenile reform will likely continue to increase financial burden upon the counties. Hopefully in the 2016 session the legislature will do something about this increased burden being placed upon the counties.

HB 1021 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Repeal the authorization for the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology research center project and to authorize the South Dakota Building Authority to issue bonds to finance a portion of the maintenance and repair of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology chemistry/chemical engineering renovation project.

This bill passed through both chambers with no opposition. This bill basically strips the information about the research center project and inputs the chemistry/chemical engineering renovation project. The new project has a price not to exceed 10 million dollars.

HB 1022 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Authorize the Board of Regents to purchase improved property in Spearfish and to make an appropriation therefor.

This bill passed House Appropriations 8-0, the House floor 64-3, and then flew through the Senate with no opposition. This bill authorizes the Board of Regents to buy property in Spearfish for $45,000.

HB 1050 – SoDakLiberty PostsRepeal certain funds, to make revisions to receipts dedicated to the property tax reduction fund, and to create the general revenue replacement fund.

This bill passed House Appropriations 8-0, the House floor 58-11, and Senate Appropriations 9-0. It was amended on the Senate floor and passed 34-0. This bill puts funds directly to the general fund that were in special purpose funds.

HB 1080 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize the use of investigational treatments for patients under certain conditions and to restrict certain causes of action arising from investigational treatment.

This bill passed the House Health and Human Services committee 11-2 and the House floor  66-1 after a small wording amendment. This bill passed Senate Health and Human Services 6-0. It was amended on the Senate floor and passed 32-0. This is an interesting bill. It would allow a doctor to treat a patient that has a currently untreatable condition using an “Investigational drug, biological product, or device”. The investigational treatment must have passed phase one of a clinical trial, but does not need to have been approved yet by the FDA. I like this bill. It makes no sense to hold up a potentially life-saving treatment (or at least symtom-reducing treatment) on a terminal patient that has no other options. I believe this decision should be up to the patient and doctor. The FDA only gets in the way in such situations. And, as the bill states, phase one of clinical trials have to be completed; so these investigational treatments aren’t just a whim of a doctor or medical company.

HB 1082 – SoDakLiberty PostsAllow a law enforcement officer to issue a citation without a notary.

This bill was gutted in House Judiciary. After being amended it passed House Judiciary 13-0 and the House floor 64-1. It had no opposition going through the Senate. This bill modernizes the citation process and takes into account law enforcement now utilizes technology in regards to citations.

HB 1107 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise the definition of certain alcoholic beverages that are classified as cider.

This bill passed House Commerce 13-0 and the House floor 67-1. It met with no opposition on the Senate side. Current law only includes apples in the definition of ciders. Now cider made from pears is allowed under law (otherwise it would have been called a pear wine).

HB 1118 – SoDakLiberty PostsProvide for oversight of postsecondary technical institutes.

This bill was hoghoused in House State Affairs and passed that committee 12-0 and the House floor 66-1. It met with no resistance in the Senate. A big addition from this bill is to set up a board of nine members for each LEA. Mickelson has definitely been pushing for changes to tech schools. Possibly a good issue for running for higher office in the future…

HB 1122  – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize township boards to designate certain roads as no maintenance roads.

This bill passed House Local Government 11-1. It was amended on the House floor and passed with a vote of 61-6. The bill was amended in Senate Transportation to remove language allowing township boards to post a road as closed. It then passed through the Senate without opposition. This bill allows township designate roads as no maintenance. Here again this is something I though townships should already have been able to do with their roads. I can name quite a few township roads in the NE part of the state that should be closed.

HB 1128 – SoDakLiberty PostsProtect certain homestead exemption interests during sale of homestead or separation of owners.

This bill passed House Commerce 10-2. It was then substantially amended on the House floor and passed that body 61-6. Senate judiciary passed the bill 5-2 and the Senate floor passed it 22-11. I never really understood this bill…

HB 1134 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions concerning the expungement of arrest records.

This passed House Judiciary 9-3 and the House floor 64-2. Senate Judiciary passed the bill 5-2. It was amended on the Senate floor and passed 33-1. This is a good bill. Guilty until proven innocent is a cornerstone of the legal system in the US. A prosecutor being able to make a determination of expungement without a hearing before a judge goes against the very foundation of the US legal system.

HB 1142 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions pertaining to the age requirements for sex offender registry registration.

This bill went through both chambers without opposition. This bill adds “at the time of the offense” to someone who is fourteen or older to register as a sex offender (if they meet other requirements).

HB 1143 – SoDakLiberty PostsIncrease the criminal violations that are subject to protection orders.

This bill passed House Judiciary 8-5 and the House floor 50-19. It met with no resistance in the Senate. This bill adds Aggravated assault–Felony (§ 22-18-1.1) to the list of violations. It also adds a penalty for repeat violations of protection order (§ 22-19A-16).

HB 1145 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding the payment of salary and compensation to legislators.

This bill made it through House State Affairs without opposition and had one no vote on the House floor. It passed Senate State Affairs 7-2. This bill was amended on the Senate floor and passed 22-10. Originally the bill included “attending the inauguration of constitutional officers” as to a time when legislators are paid. Senate amendment changed that to “taking the oath of office”. Technically they are both the same, but I don’t see a problem with that change. Overall I don’t see a problem with this bill. But at the same time I do agree with some legislators that say any changes to their pay should come before the voters.

HB 1173 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding liability of parties involved in frivolous or malicious civil actions.

This bill was amended (and title amended) in House Judiciary and passed that committee 10-3. Originally this bill added new sections of code to deal with frivolous appeals of land zoning decisions. The amended bill just modifies current code to specifically include appeal of a zoning decision. The bill was amended on the House floor and passed 57-11. Senate Judiciary passed the bill 6-0 and the Senate floor passed it 28-4. Originally I thought this bill was a good idea. But after hearing it debated on the floor I’m not so sure. It doesn’t actually seem to be fixing a problem.

HB 1176 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize a person to be on the general election ballot for president or vice president and another office.

The bill passed House State Affairs 9-2, the House floor 50-17, Senate State Affairs 6-2, and the Senate floor 24-9.

Here is what I said about the bill before:

This is one of those bills that just shows politics in SD never seems to change. To put this bill in perspective lets go down memory lane with Argus reporter Jonathan Ellis:

In 2002, state lawmakers passed three laws that barred candidates from running for president or vice president while also running for another office. One of the three laws applied to primary elections.

Why? At the time, then Sen. Tom Daschle was weighing a possible run for president in 2004. Daschle’s Senate seat was also up in 2004, and the Republican-controlled Legislature was trying to ice Daschle out: He could run for the Democratic nomination for president, or he could run for a fourth Senate term. But he couldn’t do both.

The “Daschle rule” was considered a success. That political move could be seen as a victory by the Republican Party. And honestly, I think it actually is a good rule. Pick an office and run for it.

Now let’s fast forward ten years. There is the potential of Senator Thune running for President or Vice President on the same year he is up for re–election as a Senator in 2016. So what is the Republican Party to do in such a situation? Well, apparently they will introduce 1176 and remove the barrier they created for a Democrat Senator to run for two offices. It should be noted the bill is directed at the President and Vice President runs; any other combination of elections are forbidden to run for two offices on the ballot.

HB 1179 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise the definition of a veteran.

This bill passed the House State Affairs committee 7-3, the House floor 63-4, and Senate Appropriations 9-0. This bill has received a lot of attention. This bill was amended on the Senate floor. It added ceremonial recognition as to the type of statute this bill applies to. It also added this language to the end of the bill:

For purposes of this section, the term, benefits, includes veterans designation on a driver license or identification card, veterans license plates, veterans job preference, and burial benefits pursuant to §§ 33A-5-2 and 33A-5-3.

The amended bill passed the Senate floor 32-2. This amendment reduced some of the resistance to the bill because it clearly states what benefits are at stake.

HB 1194 – SoDakLiberty PostsSet a minimum size for a sign about zoning changes or conditional use permits.

This bill passed House Local Government 10-3 after an amendment. It then passed the House floor 53-16. The bill flew through the Senate without opposition. I really can’t believe this bill made it through the legislature with so little resistance. Currently local governments can choose whether to have these signs and the requirements for them. Now the state wants to step in and say if a local government has these signs they have to meet certain requirements. This bill appears to be the state government overstepping its bounds.

HB 1201 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding planning and zoning.

This bill passed House Local Government 10-3. It was amended on the House floor and passed 52-17. It then passed Senate Ag 7-2. It was amended on the Senate floor and passed 22-11. The amendment changed a “shall” to “may”. This amendment dealt with a big point of contention in the bill. The bill allows the conditional use permits to be passed by a simple majority instead of a 2/3 vote. Originally the bill said “The process shall include adoption of simple
11 majority affirmative vote requirements pursuant to subdivision 11-4-17(3).” Now the bill says “The process may include adoption of simple 11 majority affirmative vote requirements pursuant to subdivision 11-4-17(3).” Many opponents believe the provisions of this bill will be used to allow more CAFO’s in the state.

HB 1209 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions relating to changes in terms of credit card agreements.

This bill passed House Commerce 11-0 and the House floor 67-3. It passed through the Senate without opposition. This is another bill I never really understand.

HB 1235 – SoDakLiberty PostsUpdate the valuation manual related to the valuation of assets, liabilities, and reserves.

This bill was amended in House Commerce and passed 11-0. It then was amended on the House floor and passed 66-1. There was no resistance to the bill in the Senate. Yep, another bill I never really understood.

SB 17 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise the definition of motor vehicles that are subject to the lemon law.

This bill was slightly amended in Senate Transportation and then passed through both chambers with no opposition. Currently a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle wight rating of ten thousand pounds or more does not fall under the term “motor vehicle” in this section of law. This bill would change that to fifteen thousand pounds.

SB 25 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize the Board of Regents to enter into a lease-purchase agreement to acquire agricultural property in Moody County for the use and benefit of the South Dakota State University Agricultural Experiment Station.

This bill passed through the Senate and through House Appropriations with no opposition. It passed the House floor 66-2. The lease terms for the property in question cannot exceed fifteen years and must not have an annual lease payment of more than $120,000. That $120,000 seemed like a lot. Here is where the bill says it comes from: “The annual lease payment shall be authorized through the normal budgeting process and shall be made from other funds derived from grant and contract indirect recovery funds, royalty funds, and income from sales of services.” The land in question is about 320 acres.

SB 26 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize the Board of Regents to demolish the veterinary isolation building on the campus of South Dakota State University and to make an appropriation therefor.

This bill passed through the Senate and through House Appropriations with no opposition. It passed the House floor 65-3. A demolition for SDSU. This bill appropriates $70,000 to demolish the veterinary isolation building.

SB 27 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize the Board of Regents to contract for the replacement of the plant science research support facility on the campus of South Dakota State University and to make an appropriation therefor.

This bill was amended in Senate Appropriations went through the Senate and House Appropriations with no opposition. It passed the House floor 63-5. This appropriates $4,000,000 to build the plant science research support facility for SDSU.

SB 43 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding lease purchase agreement payments and to ratify certain lease purchase agreements with the Health and Educational Facilities Authority.

This bill passed Senate Ed and the Senate floor with no opposition. It then had quite a substantial amendment in House Appropriations; where it then passed 9-0. It was then amended again on the House floor and passed 67-0. This bill appears to be clarifying code regarding the bonds and lease payments for education buildings.

SB 48 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions pertaining to the operation of personal watercraft.

This bill passed the Senate Judiciary committee 6-1 and had no opposition on the Senate floor. This bill was slightly amended in House Judiciary and passed that committee 8-3. It then passed the House floor 62-5.

This bill makes three slight revisions to the use of personal watercraft, such as a jet-ski. The two big ones are:

  • The provision for a flotation device changed from “type I, type II, type III, or type V” to wearable.
  • Currently lights on a boat are needed from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise. This would change it from sunset to sunrise.

The amendment in House Judiciary dealt with the Sunset to sunrise language.

SB 50 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize the South Dakota Building Authority to provide for the construction, reconstruction, renovation, and modernization of state park facilities and infrastructure at Custer State Park for the Department of Game, Fish and Parks, to make an appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency.

This bill passed through the Senate and through House Appropriations without opposition. It then passed the House floor 65-4. This is a long appropriation bill with a lot of amending done in Senate Appropriations. It appropriates $11,500,000 for the Custer project.

SB 58 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain authority, monetary penalties, and hearing procedures of the South Dakota Commission on Gaming. 

This bill passed Senate Commerce and Energy without opposition. It was then amended on the Senate floor and passed that body without opposition. House State Affairs also passed the bill without opposition and the House passed it 54-14. The proponents in the committee meetings tried to say this was not about getting more revenue through these fees. Yet from the extreme changes it would seem to be the Dept of Revenue looking to get more money.

SB 60 – SoDakLiberty PostsProvide newborn screening of inherited and genetic disorders.

This bill was amended on the Senate floor and then was passed 31-4. It went through House Health and Human Services 9-4. It was then amended again on the House floor and passed 50-16. The amendment mainly states that the DOH must provide information about the care of an affected child, and that the parent or guardian can refuse to accept the information. Now that this bill has been signed into law, it will allow the state to further get between the doctor and their patient. It is sad a Republican legislature would pass such a bill.

SB 82 – SoDakLiberty PostsUpdate outdated language related to domestic abuse.

This bill passed the Senate Judiciary committee 7-0, the Senate floor 31-2, House Judiciary 10-2, and the House floor 64-3. This bill modifies language for domestic abuse in one part of code to point at the new language for domestic relationships that was modified last year (§ 25-10-3.1).

SB 86 – SoDakLiberty PostsPlace a term limit on the office of poet laureate.

This bill was slightly amended in Senate Ed and then passed 7-0. It then passed the Senate floor after Senator Brown graced the chamber with a poem (a very cool one written by the interns if I remember right). The poem was read again in House State Affairs and passed 9-2. It passed on the House floor 67-1. Personally I don’t care one way or the other about this bill…

SB 98 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise the provisions related to the financial accountability system.

This bill passed Senate Judiciary 5-1, the Senate floor 31-2, House Judiciary 11-1, and the House floor 68-0. If I remember testimony on this bill correctly it is mostly word cleanup.

SB 101 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Establish certain provisions regarding cancer treatment medication coverage by insurance companies.

In its original form this bill was a pure mandate. It was hoghoused to change its approach in Senate Health and passed that committee 6-0. It was then further amended on the Senate floor and passed 35-0. House Health passed the bill 11-0 and the House floor passed it 69-0. Basically this bill makes medical insurance companies in SD treat medicine forms of cancer treatment the same as they do traditional (more invasive) methods. Apparently the insurance companies have been treating such treatments as medication, so it was not covered under the normal insurance plan. I agree with what the bill is trying to do. But it still looks like a mandate to me.

SB 108 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions relating to aggravated DUI’s.

This bill passed Senate Judiciary 6-0 and the Senate floor 32-1. It met with no opposition going through the House. Currently if a person is being convicted for a sixth offense (or more), with at least five of them in the last 25 years, then the person is in violation of an aggravated offense and guilty of a Class 4 felony. This bill would add the stipulation that at least two of the prior convictions must be in the last ten years. There also seems to be some wording cleanup.

SB 110 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise the authority granted to the Building Authority and to the Board of Regents to construct an information system building on the campus of Dakota State University in Madison.

This bill passed the Senate and House Appropriations with no opposition. It passed the House floor 65-3. This bill raises the appropriated funds for construction from $10,000,000 to $11,4000,000.

SB 119 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions regarding abandoned mobile and manufactured homes.

This bill was hoghosued in Senate Taxation and passed that committee 4-1. It went on to pass the Senate floor 32-2. There was no opposition to the bill going through the House. Originally this bill had one little change to code. Now the bill defines a whole process in the event someone gets the title of an abandoned mobile home voluntarily from the previous owner.

SB 124 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise the requirements for a petition for a minor boundary change.

This bill passed Senate Ed 7-0. It was then sent back to Senate Ed where it was amended and failed to pass by a vote of 3-2 (4 votes needed to pass).  The committee then reconsidered and it passed 5-0. There was no opposition to the bill on the Senate floor or going through the House. The biggest change in this seems to be adding language for the “final plan for detachment”. I am too far out of my knowledge of area to comment further on this bill.

SB 126 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain publications date citations for references to the International Building Code and International Property Maintenance Code.

There was no opposition to the bill on the Senate side or in House Local Government. It passed the House floor 66-2. This updates references from the 2012 edition of the International Building Code to 2015. This is an area that annoys me actually. If someone wants to find out how to comply with code they need to dish out $131 to find out what the code is for new buildings. This is a way for government officials to over-regulate without making it look like they are doing so.

SB 137 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions regarding the term of the Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council.

This bill passed through the Senate and through House State Affairs with no opposition. It passed the House floor 57-5. This seems to ensure that the legislators elected to the board only serve during the two-year period each legislator is elected to. I think the older language intends that, but this bill makes that much more clear.

SB 153 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Repeal the South Dakota certified site and technology park programs.

This bill went through the Senate and through House Education with no opposition. It passed the House floor 65-2. This would repeal the Certified Site for Development (§ 6-18) and Certified Technology parks (§ 6-19) portion of SD codified law; plus all of the rules that have promulgated from those sections of code. It removes a portion of GOED, so that part sounds good.

SB 161 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Allow certain fireworks to be used all year.

This bill was amended in Senate Commerce to remove fountains, sparklers, and ground spinners from the fireworks being added by this bill. All that leaves in the bill is “snakes, and smoke effects, if they do not fly, travel, or explode, to single-shot parachute pieces without a flare”. After being amended it passed the committee 7-0. It was then amended on the Senate floor to put this language into a new section, instead of modifying current code. The bill flew through the House without amendments or opposition. I think the legislators were afraid to hold up a bill in which a kid was providing proponent testimony.

SB 168 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Establish a task force to study elder abuse in South Dakota.

This bill was amended in Senate Retirement Laws to change the task force from being 11 members to 15 members. It also had an auto-repeal section added for Dec 31, 2016. The amended bill passed the committee 5-0. The makeup of the committee was then amended on the Senate floor. The funding for this task force was also changed on the Senate floor; funding went from $21,000 to $15,000. After being amended the bill passed the Senate floor without opposition.

In House State Affairs the bill was further amended to bring the task force up to 17. The new additional members would be from the banking industry. The amended bill passed House State Affairs and the House floor without opposition. The ironic part of this bill is that it passed. Other task forces were turned down by the legislature this year because they went outside of the normal process, just like this one…

SB 172 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Strengthen the financial practices of the State of South Dakota.

This bill passed through both chambers without opposition. This bill changes how debt is utilized by the state. It actually appears to be a good bill.

SB 173 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Make appropriations from the water and environment fund, the water pollution control revolving fund subfund, and the drinking water revolving fund subfund for various water and environmental purposes, to revise the state water plan, to increase the authority of the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources to make consolidated water facilities construction program awards, and to declare an emergency.

This bill passed through the Senate and through House Appropriations without opposition. It passed the House floor 66-2. This actually has quite a few appropriations in it from the South Dakota water and environment fund. Here is the long list of appropriations in this bill:

  • $7,700,000 to provide funds to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of providing a no-interest loan to local project sponsors as an advance on federal funds for the construction of facilities included in the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System
  • $250,000 to provide funds to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of providing grants to state and local project sponsors for hydrology and water management studies to assess, model, and quantify the state’s surface water and groundwater resources.
  • $16,500,000 to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of providing grants and loans to project sponsors under the consolidated water facilities construction program
  • $4,000,000  to the city of Clark, for the design and construction of a waste water treatment facility, a sanitary sewer interceptor, and sewer main.
  • $3,000,000 to the Big Sioux Community Water System, for the design and construction of water lines and a pump station to interconnect with the city of Madison and the Minnehaha Community Water Corporation.
  • $1,800,000 to the Minnehaha Community Water Corporation, for the design and construction of water lines to provide capacity to interconnect with the Big Sioux Community Water System and the city of Madison.
  • An increase from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 to any project in the state water facilities plan without specific authorization of the Legislature.
  • $1,300,000 to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of providing grants and loans to project sponsors under the solid waste management program
  • $1,000,000 to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of providing grants and loans to project sponsors for the construction, remediation, enlargement, closure, or upgrade of regional landfills.
  • $1,000,000 to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of providing water quality grants under the state water pollution control revolving fund program
  • $150,000 to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of contracting for the preparation of applications and administration of clean water state revolving fund loans under the state water pollution control revolving fund program
  • $150,000 to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of contracting for the preparation of applications and administration of drinking water state revolving fund loans under the state drinking water revolving fund program
  • $250,000 to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of providing grants to very small community water systems to address drinking water compliance and public health issues.
  • $200,000 to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of providing small system technical assistance set-aside grants to project sponsors under the state drinking water revolving fund program

SB 182 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise the rate of interest for late payment of certain taxes.

This bill passed through both chambers without opposition.  This would revise the interest that people or entities are late on paying certain taxes. This bill was amended in Senate tax to change the interest rates from the original lower rates in the bill. Currently law has this interest rate for late taxes set to 1.25% or five dollars, which ever is greater, for the first month; then 1.25% for each month afterwards. The amended form of this bill changes the interest rate down to 1%. The amended bill also changes the maximum interest rate to 24% (currently at 30%) upon delinquent taxes if the secretary determines that the delinquent payment was caused by a mistake of law and was not caused by an intent to evade the tax.

Bills on the SD House floor for Fri Mar 6

March 6, 2015 Comments off
SD House Floor. Photo by Ken Santema 02/25/15.

SD House Floor. Photo by Ken Santema 02/25/15.

Here are the bills on the SD House floor for Friday, March 6, which begins at 1:00 PM central.

It is Friday and legislators are looking to go home for the week; so the House will likely spend very little time going through bills. After today, there are only two more days to get all of the bills passed in the Second house. That means all of these bills must be passed (or killed) on Monday or Tuesday of next week.

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

HB 1080 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize the use of investigational treatments for patients under certain conditions and to restrict certain causes of action arising from investigational treatment.

Consideration of Senate Amendments

This bill passed the House Health and Human Services committee 11-2 and the House floor  66-1 after a small wording amendment. This bill passed Senate Health and Human Services 6-0. It was amended on the Senate floor and passed 32-0. The House must now choose whether to agree with the Senate amendment. The amendment adds clarification when dealing with a minor and using investigational treatments. It looks like a good change to a good bill. This bill has the potential to save lives by allowing treatments that may not otherwise be available.

HB 1145 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding the payment of salary and compensation to legislators.

Consideration of Senate Amendments

This bill made it through House State Affairs without opposition and had one no vote on the House floor. It passed Senate State Affairs 7-2. This bill was amended on the Senate floor and passed 22-10. Originally the bill included “attending the inauguration of constitutional officers” as to a time when legislators are paid. Senate amendment changed that to “taking the oath of office”. Technically they are both the same, but I don’t see a problem with that change. Overall I don’t see a problem with this bill. But at the same time I do agree with some legislators that say any changes to their pay should come before the voters. Since the bill flew through the House in its first pass, I don’t see any reason they won’t concur with the changes made by the Senate.

HB 1201 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding planning and zoning.

Consideration of Senate Amendments

This bill passed House Local Government 10-3. It was amended on the House floor and passed 52-17. It then passed Senate Ag 7-2. It was amended on the Senate floor and passed 22-11. The amendment changed a “shall” to “may”. This amendment dealt with a big point of contention in the bill. The bill allows the conditional use permits to be passed by a simple majority instead of a 2/3 vote. Originally the bill said “The process shall include adoption of simple
11 majority affirmative vote requirements pursuant to subdivision 11-4-17(3).” Now the bill says “The process may include adoption of simple 11 majority affirmative vote requirements pursuant to subdivision 11-4-17(3).” Personally I don’t think this will stop the opposition to the bill. Many opponents believe this change will be used to allow more CAFO’s in the state.

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

Amended HJ 32nd LD: SB 180, SB 100
WITHOUT RECOMMENDATION: SB 189

SB 189 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Provide a tax credit to insurance companies that contribute to an organization providing educational scholarships to certain students and instructional supply grants to certain teachers and parents.

Normally I don’t comment on anything in the Consideration of Reports of Committees. But in this case SB 189 was sent to the House floor without recommendation. This is an interesting bill, one that I have been teetering between opposing and supporting. On the one hand I think private education is a great school choice option for the children in our state. This funding mechanism would potentially allow more children to take advantage of this option, which has worked quite well in other states.

On the opposition side there are many that do not want public dollars to be used for private education. My opposition has partly been for that reason, however it has been a soft opposition. Most of my opposition has come because such public money used for private education can often lead to strings being attached. There are no strings attached to this bill that I can see, but if this trend continues I can see where it would potentially happen in the future.

At this time I am teetering on supporting the bill. I do think the proponents of this bill made a good case in committee that this change will not hurt public education funding in SD. In fact it may help public education funding long-term. I still am wary about continuing down this path because of the mandates that can be attached in the future. But I think those mandates can be dealt with as they come.

Since the bill was sent to the floor without recommendation it must be smoked out to actually be heard on the House floor. It should be interesting to see if that is done, and if it is successful.

SECOND READING OF SENATE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

SB 97 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise the allowable penalties for a person admitted to drug court. 

* Deferred from Wednesday!

This bill passed through the Senate with no opposition and through House Judiciary 11-1. According to the fiscal note this bill will supposedly keep about seven people from year from going to prison. It is a small step, but it does appear to be a good move.

SB 2 – SoDakLiberty PostsProvide for the establishment of river basin natural resource districts.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Senate Ag 6-3 after being amended. It passed the Senate floor 20-12. It was then amended in House Ag and passed 10-1. I think the amendment alleviates the fears of some (including me) about the bill. The amendment in part adds this language: “This Act does not give any district created pursuant to this Act any regulatory or taxing authority”. I still fear the districts would be used against land owners in the future. But the debate on whether this would help with excess water issues is worth having, It should be interesting to see what the House floor does with the bill.

SB 51 – SoDakLiberty PostsRepeal the contingency funds available for unanticipated costs related to medical services and to declare an emergency.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed the Senate and then House Appropriations without opposition. This was in the governor’s budget address. ACA has made this contingency fund unnecessary.

SB 33 – SoDakLiberty PostsExtend resident tuition eligibility to the spouses and children of active duty military personnel and of qualifying veterans.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill flew through the Senate and through House State Affairs with no opposition. Currently a veteran does not have to meet the twelve-month residency requirements to be considered a resident for tuition. This bill would add the same right to the veterans spouse or children.

SB 70SoDakLiberty Posts – Require that the mandatory reporter who witnessed the disclosure or evidence of child abuse or neglect be available to answer questions when the initial report is made.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill was amended by the Senate State Affairs committee and passed that same committee 9-0 and the Senate floor 33-0. After some good proponent testimony it passed through House State Affairs 12-0. Current state law has various professions that must report suspected child abuse or neglect. This bill would make sure the person reporting the abuse is available when the report is made to the authorities. That will help investigators actually determine what happened and if the case can be pursued.

SB 137 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions regarding the term of the Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed through the Senate and through House State Affairs with no opposition. This seems to ensure that the legislators elected to the board only serve during the two-year period each legislator is elected to. I think the older language intends that, but this bill makes that much more clear.

SB 191 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions regarding capital outlay certificates and lease purchase agreements of school districts and the pledge of state aid to education funds program aid to secure such obligations.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Senate State Affairs 9-0 after being amended. The bill then passed House State Affairs 12-0. It then had a title amendment on the Senate floor and passed 31-1.

SB 13 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Require certain persons convicted for human trafficking to register as sex offenders.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Senate Judiciary and the Senate floor with no opposition. It passed House Judiciary 8-4. This bill adds two types of crimes to those that require registering as a sex offender. These two are first degree human trafficking if the victim is a minor and second degree human trafficking involving the prostitution of a minor. This bill I wonder about, because either of these convictions seem to possibly fit under current types of crimes that already require registering as a sex offender.

SB 186 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise the procedure for the execution of a warrant.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Senate Judiciary 6-0 after being amended. The amendment took out the new language that was to be added by the bill. Now the bill appears to clarify the words used in the law. The bill passed the Senate floor 32-0. Finally it passed House Judiciary 11-0.

SB 95 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise provisions related to human trafficking.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Senate Judiciary 6-0 after being amended. It then passed the Senate floor without opposition. House Health and Human Services passed the bill 11-1. The biggest change here appears to be changing the definition from under age 16 to under 18 in human trafficking code.

SB 73 – SoDakLiberty PostsImprove public safety regarding juvenile justice.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed the Senate and House State Affairs with no opposition. This is part of the Governors and Chief Justices initiative to reform SD’s horrendous juvenile incarceration rates. This bill would mirror some of the steps taken to reform the incarceration rates for adults. Parts of this bill has some good ideas and changes. But until the state actually looks at reducing the number of victim-less offenses that are crimes, there will continue to be an outrageous number of people in SD locked up for no reason. But having said that, I do think this bill provides an improvement over what is currently.

SB 190 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Clarify health coverage for applied behavior analysis.

This bill was amended twice in Senate State Affairs and passed that committee 9-0. It then passed the Senate floor 35-0. It was further amended in House State Affairs. One of the big changes in House State Affairs was to change the maximum benefit for children up to age six from “$36,000” to “$50,000”. I do think the proponents in committee made the case that such changes need to be made. I also think it is just wrong that insurance companies are not covering ABA. But at the same time I still see this as a mandate. It should also be noted that this mandate only applies to grandfathered plans (ones not compliant with ACA), and even then it might not apply to all of those plans. This is not just a mandate, but it is a mandate that is targeted to a class of insurance that will keep shrinking. This will likely pass the House…

SB 132 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Allow school districts to recruit teachers by providing certain financial incentives.

This bill passed Senate Ed 4-1. It was amended on the Senate floor and passed 26-7. The amendment on the Senate floor took away the incentives for current teachers. This bill was amended last week in House Ed. The amendment allows a school district to negotiate through a teacher’s designated collective bargaining representative. However the language is permissive. Meaning the school district doesn’t have to work through a union for this incentive if it doesn’t want to. The amended bill passed through House Ed 11-3. This bill shouldn’t have any problems passing the House floor.

SB 134 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Prohibit minor boundary changes for one year, to establish the school district boundary task force, and to declare an emergency.

This was a hoghouse vehicle bill. It passed through the Senate without opposition after Senate State Affairs filled the bill with its actual content. It was slightly amended in House Ed and passed that committee 14-0. Section 2 of the bill explains the purpose of this task force pretty well:

There is hereby established the school district boundary task force. The task force shall examine the boundaries of the existing school districts and recommend possible changes to those school district boundaries. The task force will also recommend a process for addressing minor boundary changes in the future once the moratorium established in section 1 of this Act has ended. The task force will not discuss or make any recommendations regarding school district reorganization.

SB 154 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Require that certain employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs be veterans.

This bill passed the Senate with no opposition. It was slightly amended in House Judiciary and passed that committee 12-1. This bill would require the “state veterans service officer or state fieldmen veterans service officer shall be a veteran who has served in the armed forces of the United States and is a citizen of the United States”. It then says all other employees of the Dept of VA shall be veterans if available. I can understand giving preference to veterans for these jobs. But I really can’t see a provision that says a veteran must fill these positions. That just isn’t good policy.

SB 131 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Establish certain provisions regarding stray electrical current and voltage remediation.

This bill passed through the Senate  and through House Ag without opposition. This has been an interesting bill to listen to, I’ve learned a lot. It seems the bill is set to give a process for dairy producers and electricity providers to settle stray voltage disputes (something I had not heard about before). If the farmer believes stray voltage has negatively impacted a cow, then the PUC would be brought in. There are provisions built-in to make sure neither side of the dispute are doing so in bad faith. It is an interesting bill, and should pass the House easily.

SB 178 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain programs and authorize certain projects in the Unified Judicial System and to make an appropriation therefor.

This bill passed through the Senate and through House Appropriations without opposition. This bill appropriates $500,000 from the Unified Judicial System court automation fund to the Unified Judicial System for the purpose of providing incentive payments to attorneys participating in the rural attorney assistance program. The bill also increases the number of attorneys that can participate in the program from 16 to 32. The bill also has an appropriation of $300,000 for renovating the Supreme Court law library in the state capitol building. Another $100,000 is appropriated to award grants to counties for projects related to the improvement of courthouse security. Then another $400,000 to help address the negative cash balance in the law enforcement officers training fund.

SB 179 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions relating to record search fees in the Unified Judicial System.

This passed Senate Appropriations 7-1 and the Senate floor 31-0 and House Appropriations 8-0. This bill appears to increase the fee from $15 to $20. That extra $5 would go directly to the law enforcement officers’ training fund.

Bills on the SD Senate floor for Weds Mar 4

March 4, 2015 Comments off
SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 02/11/15.

SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 02/11/15.

Here are the bills on the SD Senate floor for Wednesday, March 4, which begins at 2:00 PM central.

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

HCR 1008 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Urging Congress and the President to recognize tribal identification cards as a valid form of identification for all official purposes.

CONSIDERATION OF CONSENT EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENTS

Reappointments:
Lucas Lentsch        Secretary of the Department of Agriculture
David R. Emery    South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority
Pat Costello        Commissioner of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development
Marcia Hultman    Secretary of the Department of Labor

SECOND READING OF CONSENT CALENDAR ITEM

HB 1082 – SoDakLiberty PostsAllow a law enforcement officer to issue a citation without a notary.

SECOND READING OF HOUSE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

HB 1049 – SoDakLiberty PostsRepeal certain provisions regarding reversions of appropriations for a repealed tax refund program.

This is a cleanup bill that met no resistance in the House or in Senate Appropriations.

HB 1201 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding planning and zoning.

This bill passed House Local Government 10-3. It was amended on the House floor and passed 52-17. Finally it passed Senate Ag 7-2. I listened to testimony on this bill. This is a huge issue. Opponents believe this is being used as a way for CAFO’s to be pushed through bypassing local control. I’ve spoken with proponents that say this change is needed so County Commissioners can stop dragging their feet on approving or opposing CAFO’s. I still feel this is a bad bill that tries to usurp local control.

HB 1142 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions pertaining to the age requirements for sex offender registry registration.

This bill passed through the House and through Senate Judiciary with no opposition. This bill adds “at the time of the offense” to someone who is fourteen or older to register as a sex offender (if they meet other requirements).

HB 1173 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding liability of parties involved in frivolous or malicious civil actions.

This bill was amended (and title amended) in House Judiciary and passed that committee 10-3. Originally this bill added new sections of code to deal with frivolous appeals of land zoning decisions. The amended bill just modifies current code to specifically include appeal of a zoning decision. The bill was amended on the House floor and passed 57-11. Senate Judiciary passed the bill 6-0. Originally I thought this bill was a good idea. But after hearing it debated on the floor I’m not so sure. It doesn’t actually seem to be fixing a problem.

HB 1059SoDakLiberty PostsAllow authorized entities to access immunization information in certain circumstances.

* Deferred from yesterday!

Many people have gotten worked up about this bill because of the change from may to shall. Personally I don’t think this change actually has any impact. This did not allow any new sharing of immunization records. I understand many people don’t like this law, but fighting this bill won’t change the law. That would need to be done with a separate bill to repeal the current law.

This bill passed the House Health committee 8-5.

It was then amended on the House floor with the following addition:

The provider shall verbally notify the patient, or if the patient is a minor, the patient’s parent or guardian of the patient’s ability to refuse to permit immunization information to be shared.

That amendment was able to get this bill passed on the House floor 45-24. But from what I hear this amendment has not pacified those angry about this bill. All this amendment did was say the provider must give verbal notification. I really think amending this bill with a written opt-in would have pacified many detractors. But there is no way the DOH would want to cede that much power…

The bill made it through Senate Health 4-2.

I really don’t think it will be held up in the Senate, but there might be some hot debate.

HB 1145 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding the payment of salary and compensation to legislators.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill made it through House State Affairs without opposition and had one no vote on the House floor. It passed Senate State Affairs 7-2. Part of this bill appears to add “attending the inauguration of constitutional officers, or attending the Governor’s budget report” to times when legislators are on the clock and can get per diem. I don’t see a problem with that, it is part of their job to attend the Governors budget address (the constitutional officers inauguration   may be debatable though).

HB 1002 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Make an appropriation to the Department of Revenue to provide for the electronic submission of reports and taxes related to alcoholic beverages and to declare an emergency.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed House Appropriations 8-0 after being amended down to a dollar. The original amount appropriated was $100,000 for the electronic tax collection technology used for reports and taxes related to alcoholic beverages. The amended bill passed the House floor 59-9 and Senate Appropriations 9-0.

HB 1047 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain reversion provisions relating to the General Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2013.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed House Appropriations 8-0 where it was amended to fix the title. It passed the House floor 65-3 and Senate Appropriations 9-0. This bill would carry over funding used for the South Dakota Public Safety Improvement Act, which was passed into law in 2013 (SB 70). This bill doesn’t allow more funding, it just carries the originally approved funding another year.

HB 1128 – SoDakLiberty PostsProtect certain homestead exemption interests during sale of homestead or separation of owners.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed House Commerce 10-2. It was then substantially amended on the House floor and passed that body 61-6. House judiciary passed the bill 5-2. I still don’t really understand this bill.

HB 1080 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize the use of investigational treatments for patients under certain conditions and to restrict certain causes of action arising from investigational treatment.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Senate Health and Human Services 6-0. Here are my notes prior the Senate Health hearing (which I stick with):

This is an interesting bill. It would allow a doctor to treat a patient that has a currently untreatable condition using an “Investigational drug, biological product, or device”. The investigational treatment must have passed phase one of a clinical trial, but does not need to have been approved yet by the FDA. I like this bill. It makes no sense to hold up a potentially life-saving treatment (or at least symtom-reducing treatment) on a terminal patient that has no other options. I believe this decision should be up to the patient and doctor. The FDA only gets in the way in such situations. And, as the bill states, phase one of clinical trials have to be completed; so these investigational treatments aren’t just a whim of a doctor or medical company.

Bills on the SD Senate floor for Tues Mar 3

March 3, 2015 Comments off
SD Senate Floor. Photo by Ken Santema 02/11/15.

SD Senate Floor. Photo by Ken Santema 02/11/15.

Here are the bills on the SD Senate floor for Tuesday, March 3, which begins at 2:00 PM central.

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

HCR 1008 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Urging Congress and the President to recognize tribal identification cards as a valid form of identification for all official purposes.

HCR 1009 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Designating 2015 as the “Year of Remembrance for the Centennial Since the Commencement of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923″ in South Dakota and urging Congress and the President of the United States to formally and consistently recognize and reaffirm the historical truth that the atrocities committed against the Armenian, Greek, and other Christians living in their historical homelands in Anatolia constituted genocide and to work towards equitable, stable, and durable Armenian-Turkish relations and a fair, just, and comprehensive international resolution of this crime against humanity.

CONSIDERATION OF EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENTS

Appointment: Steve Emery        Secretary of the Department of Tribal Affairs

Appointment: Tom Jones        Board of Economic Development

Reappointment: Darin Bergquist    Secretary of the Department of Transportation

CONSIDERATION OF CONSENT EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENT

Reappointment: James Hagen        Secretary of the Department of Tourism

SECOND READING OF CONSENT CALENDAR ITEMS

HB 1139 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain procedures for competitive sealed bids by public purchasing agencies.

HB 1165 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise the composition requirement of the Historic Preservation Commission.

HB 1031 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Repeal certain provisions regarding former state-owned rail lines.

HB 1064 – SoDakLiberty PostsProhibit unlawful self-dealing by state officers and employees.

HB 1144 – SoDakLiberty PostsRepeal and revise certain unnecessary and outdated provisions related to state affairs and government.

SECOND READING OF HOUSE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

HB 1002 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Make an appropriation to the Department of Revenue to provide for the electronic submission of reports and taxes related to alcoholic beverages and to declare an emergency.

This bill passed House Appropriations 8-0 after being amended down to a dollar. The original amount appropriated was $100,000 for the electronic tax collection technology used for reports and taxes related to alcoholic beverages. The amended bill passed the House floor 59-9 and Senate Appropriations 9-0.

HB 1042 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize the Department of Public Safety to construct offices in Butte County and Roberts County, to make an appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency.

It passed House Appropriations 8-0, the House floor 64-3, and Senate Appropriations 9-0. This bill appropriates $196,850 for new facilities in Butte County and Roberts County.

HB 1047 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain reversion provisions relating to the General Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2013.

This bill passed House Appropriations 8-0 where it was amended to fix the title. It passed the House floor 65-3 and Senate Appropriations 9-0. This bill would carry over funding used for the South Dakota Public Safety Improvement Act, which was passed into law in 2013 (SB 70). This bill doesn’t allow more funding, it just carries the originally approved funding another year.

HB 1048 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding state hosting and employee reimbursement policies.

This bill passed House Appropriations 9-0, the House floor 57-10, and Senate Appropriations 8-1. This would bring the state reimbursement for certain meals in line with what is practiced in most corporations.

HB 1050 – SoDakLiberty PostsRepeal certain funds, to make revisions to receipts dedicated to the property tax reduction fund, and to create the general revenue replacement fund.

This bill passed House Appropriations 8-0, the House floor 58-11, and Senate Appropriations 9-0. This puts funds directly to the general fund that were in special purpose funds. It appears this might be a way for the executive branch to get around using money the way they are supposed to.

HB 1030 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Provide certain restrictions regarding the passing of a bicycle.

This bill had quite a bit of attention in House Transportation. This bill was amended in that committee and now the bill says that if a car is on a road that is 35 mph or less, then the car has to give at least three feet of space when passing a bike. If the posted speed is greater than 35 mph, then the car must give at least six feet of space when passing a bike. Up until last week I found this bill to be unnecessary. I have now changed my mind about the bill. I don’t feel current lane law would protect a bicycle on the highway where the bike is on the right side of the lane line. The bill ended up passing House Transportation 11-0, the House floor 53-16, and Senate Transportation 7-0.

HB 1124 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize motor vehicles to exceed the posted speed limit under certain conditions.

This bill passed House Judiciary after being amended. It then passed the House floor 66-1 and Senate Transportation 7-0. Originally the bill was written to allow a vehicle going down a two-lane highway that has a speed limit of 65 or greater to exceed the speed limit by 8 mph in order to pass a vehicle that is going under the speed limit. The amendment changed the 8 mph to 10 mph. I think this is a great change. It will legally allow cars to pass faster, and potentially reduce the chance of accidents that happen from passing on the highway.

HB 1177 – SoDakLiberty PostsRemove certain exceptions to campaign finance report filings.

This bill passed House State Affairs 12-0 after being amended. The amendment prevented a new section of code form being created, and instead the bill now changes current code. The bill will require a candidate who was in a primary election, but not a general election, have their campaign finance disclosure statement or termination report to the SOS by the 2nd Friday of August. It also changes the year-end financial disclosure from being due on Feb 1 to being due the first Monday in February. The amended bill passed the House floor 69-0 and Senate State Affairs 9-0.

HB 1072 – SoDakLiberty PostsProvide that certain information regarding postsecondary technical institutes be given to parents and guardians of students in middle schools and high schools.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill was amended in House Ed and passed 11-3. It then went to pass the House floor 62-6. Senate Ed passed the bill 5-0.

Here is what I had to say about the bill before:

Currently school districts provide a list of students and address for those in grades 7-12 to the Board of Regents. This info can then be used to inform parents/guardians of the requirements needed for post-secondary schools. This bill would also send this list to the Department of Education. The bill also allows technical institutes to use the list for the same reason. I always thought it was the job of the school counselor and other school employees to help students meet their requirements?

HB 1073 – SoDakLiberty PostsRequire a sex offender to report a change in vehicle status to law enforcement.

* Deferred from last week!

Originally this bill would have modified a current statute to add this in to where it would be a Class 6 Felony.That version of the bill passed House Judiciary 10-3. It was then hoghoused on the House floor. The new version of the bill adds the same language as a new piece of code and makes this a Class 1 misdemeanor. I think that was a good change dropping the charge down to a misdemeanor. The bill passed the House floor 68-1 after being amended. Senate Judiciary passed the bill 7-0.

HB 1128 – SoDakLiberty PostsProtect certain homestead exemption interests during sale of homestead or separation of owners.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill passed House Commerce 10-2. It was then substantially amended on the House floor and passed that body 61-6. House judiciary passed the bill 5-2. I still don’t really understand this bill.

HB 1134 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions concerning the expungement of arrest records.

* Deferred from last week!

This passed House Judiciary 9-3 and the House floor 64-2. Senate Judiciary passed the bill 5-2. Here is what I said about the bill before and stick with:

This is a good bill. Guilty until proven innocent is a cornerstone of the legal system in the US. A prosecutor being able to make a determination of expungement without a hearing before a judge goes against the very foundation of the US legal system.

HB 1013 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions related to social work licensure.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill has met with opposition. It passed 12-1 in the House Health, 40-27 on the House Floor, and 4-1 in Senate Health. This bill needs to be defeated. It uses the force of state government to impose the wishes of a protectionist special interest group. It also prevents potentially good social workers from actually performing the job.

HB 1080 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize the use of investigational treatments for patients under certain conditions and to restrict certain causes of action arising from investigational treatment.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill passed Senate Health and Human Services 6-0. Here are my notes prior the Senate Health hearing (which I stick with):

This is an interesting bill. It would allow a doctor to treat a patient that has a currently untreatable condition using an “Investigational drug, biological product, or device”. The investigational treatment must have passed phase one of a clinical trial, but does not need to have been approved yet by the FDA. I like this bill. It makes no sense to hold up a potentially life-saving treatment (or at least symtom-reducing treatment) on a terminal patient that has no other options. I believe this decision should be up to the patient and doctor. The FDA only gets in the way in such situations. And, as the bill states, phase one of clinical trials have to be completed; so these investigational treatments aren’t just a whim of a doctor or medical company.

HB 1058SoDakLiberty Posts –  Revise certain provisions regarding contagious disease control quarantine measures and to declare an emergency.

* Deferred from last week!

The bill passed the House Health committee 8-5.

It was then amended on the House floor to make it more specific to “middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), smallpox, or viral hemorrhagic fevers”. The emergency clause was also removed at that time. Removing the emergency clause was expected. Without the emergency clause the bill would only need a simple majority to pass the House floor.

After being amended the bill passed the House floor by a vote of 41-27.

It passed Senate Health 5-1.

I expect this to pass the Senate floor. There are a lot of concerns that this bill gives too much power to DOH. I understand those concerns, but I think DOH already has overly broad powers.

HB 1059SoDakLiberty PostsAllow authorized entities to access immunization information in certain circumstances.

* Deferred from last week!

Many people have gotten worked up about this bill because of the change from may to shall. Personally I don’t think this change actually has any impact. This did not allow any new sharing of immunization records. I understand many people don’t like this law, but fighting this bill won’t change the law. That would need to be done with a separate bill to repeal the current law.

This bill passed the House Health committee 8-5.

It was then amended on the House floor with the following addition:

The provider shall verbally notify the patient, or if the patient is a minor, the patient’s parent or guardian of the patient’s ability to refuse to permit immunization information to be shared.

That amendment was able to get this bill passed on the House floor 45-24. But from what I hear this amendment has not pacified those angry about this bill. All this amendment did was say the provider must give verbal notification. I really think amending this bill with a written opt-in would have pacified many detractors. But there is no way the DOH would want to cede that much power…

The bill made it through Senate Health 4-2.

I really don’t think it will be held up in the Senate, but there might be some hot debate.

HB 1145 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding the payment of salary and compensation to legislators.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill made it through House State Affairs without opposition and had one no vote on the House floor. It passed Senate State Affairs 7-2. Part of this bill appears to add “attending the inauguration of constitutional officers, or attending the Governor’s budget report” to times when legislators are on the clock and can get per diem. I don’t see a problem with that, it is part of their job to attend the Governors budget address (the constitutional officers inauguration   may be debatable though).

Bills on the SD Senate floor for Fri Feb 27

February 27, 2015 1 comment
SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 02/25/15.

SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 02/25/15.

Here are the bills on the SD Senate floor for Friday, February 27, which begins at 1:00 PM central.

Since it is Friday and the legislators are looking to get home they probably won’t actually take up any of these bills. They might go through the consent calendar and commemorations though.

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

SCR 6 – SoDakLiberty PostsTo direct the Department of Education to ensure South Dakota students are well-versed in civics and government.

HCR 1007 – SoDakLiberty PostsOpposing the EPA’s guidelines to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants in a manner that will cause economic harm.

HCR 1008 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Urging Congress and the President to recognize tribal identification cards as a valid form of identification for all official purposes.

CONSIDERATION OF EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENT

Reappointment of:
Melody Schopp        Secretary of the Department of Education

SECOND READING OF CONSENT CALENDAR ITEMS

Appointment of:
Myron L. Rau            South Dakota Board of Pardons and Paroles

Reappointment of:
Krista Heeren-Graber        South Dakota Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision

HB 1122  – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize township boards to designate certain roads as no maintenance roads.

HB 1097 – SoDakLiberty PostsProvide for a reduced minimum fall enrollment for certain school districts.

HB 1100 – SoDakLiberty PostsClarify how a vacancy on a school board is filled.

HB 1137 – SoDakLiberty PostsExclude the passing time between classes in the number of hours required in the school term for secondary students.

SECOND READING OF HOUSE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

HB 1072 – SoDakLiberty PostsProvide that certain information regarding postsecondary technical institutes be given to parents and guardians of students in middle schools and high schools.

This bill was amended in House Ed and passed 11-3. It then went to pass the House floor 62-6. Senate Ed passed the bill 5-0.

Here is what I had to say about the bill before:

Currently school districts provide a list of students and address for those in grades 7-12 to the Board of Regents. This info can then be used to inform parents/guardians of the requirements needed for post-secondary schools. This bill would also send this list to the Department of Education. The bill also allows technical institutes to use the list for the same reason. I always thought it was the job of the school counselor and other school employees to help students meet their requirements?

HB 1073 – SoDakLiberty PostsRequire a sex offender to report a change in vehicle status to law enforcement.

Originally this bill would have modified a current statute to add this in to where it would be a Class 6 Felony.That version of the bill passed House Judiciary 10-3. It was then hoghoused on the House floor. The new version of the bill adds the same language as a new piece of code and makes this a Class 1 misdemeanor. I think that was a good change dropping the charge down to a misdemeanor. The bill passed the House floor 68-1 after being amended. Senate Judiciary passed the bill 7-0.

HB 1128 – SoDakLiberty PostsProtect certain homestead exemption interests during sale of homestead or separation of owners.

This bill passed House Commerce 10-2. It was then substantially amended on the House floor and passed that body 61-6. House judiciary passed the bill 5-2. I still don’t really understand this bill.

HB 1134 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions concerning the expungement of arrest records.

This passed House Judiciary 9-3 and the House floor 64-2. Senate Judiciary passed the bill 5-2. Here is what I said about the bill before and stick with:

This is a good bill. Guilty until proven innocent is a cornerstone of the legal system in the US. A prosecutor being able to make a determination of expungement without a hearing before a judge goes against the very foundation of the US legal system.

HB 1013 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions related to social work licensure.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill has met with opposition. It passed 12-1 in the House Health, 40-27 on the House Floor, and 4-1 in Senate Health. This bill needs to be defeated. It uses the force of state government to impose the wishes of a protectionist special interest group. It also prevents potentially good social workers from actually performing the job.

HB 1080 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize the use of investigational treatments for patients under certain conditions and to restrict certain causes of action arising from investigational treatment.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Senate Health and Human Services 6-0. Here are my notes prior the Senate Health hearing (which I stick with):

This is an interesting bill. It would allow a doctor to treat a patient that has a currently untreatable condition using an “Investigational drug, biological product, or device”. The investigational treatment must have passed phase one of a clinical trial, but does not need to have been approved yet by the FDA. I like this bill. It makes no sense to hold up a potentially life-saving treatment (or at least symtom-reducing treatment) on a terminal patient that has no other options. I believe this decision should be up to the patient and doctor. The FDA only gets in the way in such situations. And, as the bill states, phase one of clinical trials have to be completed; so these investigational treatments aren’t just a whim of a doctor or medical company.

HB 1058SoDakLiberty Posts –  Revise certain provisions regarding contagious disease control quarantine measures and to declare an emergency.

* Deferred from yesterday!

The bill passed the House Health committee 8-5.

It was then amended on the House floor to make it more specific to “middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), smallpox, or viral hemorrhagic fevers”. The emergency clause was also removed at that time. Removing the emergency clause was expected. Without the emergency clause the bill would only need a simple majority to pass the House floor.

After being amended the bill passed the House floor by a vote of 41-27.

It passed Senate Health 5-1.

I expect this to pass the Senate floor. There are a lot of concerns that this bill gives too much power to DOH. I understand those concerns, but I think DOH already has overly broad powers.

HB 1059SoDakLiberty PostsAllow authorized entities to access immunization information in certain circumstances.

* Deferred from yesterday!

Many people have gotten worked up about this bill because of the change from may to shall. Personally I don’t think this change actually has any impact. This did not allow any new sharing of immunization records. I understand many people don’t like this law, but fighting this bill won’t change the law. That would need to be done with a separate bill to repeal the current law.

This bill passed the House Health committee 8-5.

It was then amended on the House floor with the following addition:

The provider shall verbally notify the patient, or if the patient is a minor, the patient’s parent or guardian of the patient’s ability to refuse to permit immunization information to be shared.

That amendment was able to get this bill passed on the House floor 45-24. But from what I hear this amendment has not pacified those angry about this bill. All this amendment did was say the provider must give verbal notification. I really think amending this bill with a written opt-in would have pacified many detractors. But there is no way the DOH would want to cede that much power…

The bill made it through Senate Health 4-2.

I really don’t think it will be held up in the Senate, but there might be some hot debate.

HB 1145 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding the payment of salary and compensation to legislators.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill made it through House State Affairs without opposition and had one no vote on the House floor. It passed Senate State Affairs 7-2. Part of this bill appears to add “attending the inauguration of constitutional officers, or attending the Governor’s budget report” to times when legislators are on the clock and can get per diem. I don’t see a problem with that, it is part of their job to attend the Governors budget address (the constitutional officers inauguration   may be debatable though).
LEGISLATIVE COMMEMORATIONS

HC 1031 –  SoDakLiberty Posts – Honoring the 2015 Huron High School Speech and Debate Team on their outstanding performance.

HC 1032 –  SoDakLiberty Posts – Honoring the 75th anniversary of the Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™, and recognizing Deadwood as “The Historic Jewel of the Black Hills.”

HC 1033 –  SoDakLiberty Posts – Commending and honoring the West Central High School FFA chapter.

HC 1034 –  SoDakLiberty Posts – Commending and honoring the West Central High School Band for its accomplishments.

HC 1035 –  SoDakLiberty Posts – Honoring Jessica Benson, an esteemed resident of Rapid City and a student at West Middle School, for achieving national recognition for exemplary volunteer service with a 2015 Prudential Spirit of Community Award.

HC 1036 –  SoDakLiberty Posts – Honoring and Commending Abbigail Boner of Castlewood, South Dakota, for receiving a 2015 Prudential Spirit of Community Award.

Bills on the SD Senate floor for Thurs Feb 26

February 26, 2015 Comments off
SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 02/24/15.

SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 02/24/15.

Here are the bills on the SD Senate floor for Thursday, February 26, which begins at 2:00 PM central.

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

.SCR 8 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Condemning the growing anti-Semitism in certain countries and extending an invitation to Jewish families from around the world to South Dakota.

SECOND READING OF CONSENT CALENDAR ITEMS

HB 1146 – SoDakLiberty PostsLimit who may request to see a person’s hunting or fishing license.

HB 1148 – SoDakLiberty PostsRequire that the annual report of a school district contain certain information regarding school district fund balances.

HB 1090 – SoDakLiberty PostsProhibit a person from serving as a member of a consumers power district board of directors in certain cases.

HB 1106 – SoDakLiberty PostsEstablish the rights of municipal, county, or township officers in certain decision-making processes.

HB 1135 – SoDakLiberty PostsExpand certain bonding provisions regarding local government officials and employees.

HB 1121 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize township boards to establish speed zones on township roads.

HB 1102 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding the regulation of licensing massage therapists.

HB 1151 – SoDakLiberty PostsImprove public safety through confidential stress management services for emergency service providers.

HB 1229 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise provisions related to the release of medical waste.

HB 1029 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain requirements regarding high performance building design and construction standards for newly constructed or renovated state-owned buildings.

HB 1105 – SoDakLiberty PostsProvide for an affidavit creating a rebuttable presumption that a person is not an employee for purposes of workers’ compensation and to provide a penalty therefor.

HB 1125 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding the notice for meeting of public bodies.

SECOND READING OF HOUSE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

HB 1236 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding commissions received by insurance producers.

This bill was amended in House Commerce and passed through that committee and the House floor with no opposition. It was then amended again in Senate Commerce and Energy and passed that committee 7-0. I really don’t understand the bill too well. If I remember testimony correctly this provision would allow insurance agents to share commission for a policy type they don’t normally handle and pass on to someone who does handle that.

HJR 1003 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Proposing and submitting to the electors at the next general election an amendment to Article XIV of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, relating to the authority of the Board of Regents.

This bill passed House State Affairs with no opposition, and had one no vote on the House floor. It then passed through Senate State Affairs 9-0. This resolution would put the four votechs directly under the control of the legislature, if it passes on the ballot. I think this is a good idea for many reasons, but I’m not sure it will work on the ballot.

HB 1145 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding the payment of salary and compensation to legislators.

This bill made it through House State Affairs without opposition and had one no vote on the House floor. It passed Senate State Affairs 7-2. Part of this bill appears to add “attending the inauguration of constitutional officers, or attending the Governor’s budget report” to times when legislators are on the clock and can get per diem. I don’t see a problem with that, it is part of their job to attend the Governors budget address (the constitutional officers inauguration   may be debatable though).

HB 1079 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise the deadline for the Department of Health’s annual report regarding abortions.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill had two no votes on the House side. Earlier this month the bill failed to pass and was tabled by Senate Health. It was then amended to change the deadline from September 13th to now be due at November 15th. The bill then passed Senate Health 7-0. Personally I think this bill had the wrong motivations. It appears the bill is being pushed through so abortion statistics from the state are available for legislation to be pushed in the legislature.

HB 1060 – SoDakLiberty PostsMake an appropriation to reimburse certain family physicians, dentists, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners who have complied with the requirements of the recruitment assistance program and to declare an emergency.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed all the way through the House and Senate Appropriations with no opposition. It appropriates $381,766. for individuals found to have met the requirements of the program.

HB 1189 – SoDakLiberty PostsMake an appropriation to fund tax refunds for elderly persons and persons with a disability and to declare an emergency.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed all the way through the House and Senate Appropriations with no opposition. This would appropriate $450,000 for the elderly and disabled persons tax refund program.

HB 1101 – SoDakLiberty PostsEnsure local control over curriculum and methods of instruction.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill had no opposition in House Ed, but eight opposed it on the House floor. It made it through Senate ed with no opposition. This bill is a political trick in the battle over Common Core. It could have been done with a resolution. It does nothing.

HB 1027 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions regarding the regulation of certain money lending activities.

* Deferred from yesterday!

It was amended in the House Commerce committee and then passed 12-0. It was amended again slight on the House floor and passed 63-5. It was then further amended in Senate Commerce and Energy and passed that committee 5-1.This bill really has too much going on. I think it maybe should have been multiple bills.

HB 1081 – SoDakLiberty PostsRepeal certain provisions regarding county officials and the board of county commissioners.

* Deferred from yesterday!

Here are my notes about the bill prior to the Senate Local Government committee hearing (which passed the bill 4-3):

This bill was amended in House Local government, where it passed without opposition. It only had three no votes on the house floor. This bill would allow counties to reimburse travel expenses at rates higher than the State sets. I understand this was an issue here in Brown County when gas prices kept going up. This bill also removes the requirement that county commissioners must visit county jails at least once a year.

HB 1080 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize the use of investigational treatments for patients under certain conditions and to restrict certain causes of action arising from investigational treatment.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Senate Health and Human Services 6-0. Here are my notes prior the Senate Health hearing (which I stick with):

This is an interesting bill. It would allow a doctor to treat a patient that has a currently untreatable condition using an “Investigational drug, biological product, or device”. The investigational treatment must have passed phase one of a clinical trial, but does not need to have been approved yet by the FDA. I like this bill. It makes no sense to hold up a potentially life-saving treatment (or at least symtom-reducing treatment) on a terminal patient that has no other options. I believe this decision should be up to the patient and doctor. The FDA only gets in the way in such situations. And, as the bill states, phase one of clinical trials have to be completed; so these investigational treatments aren’t just a whim of a doctor or medical company.

HB 1089 – SoDakLiberty PostsBan the practice of female genital mutilation in the state, to provide a penalty therefor, and to declare an emergency.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed House Health 12-0 and the House floor 61-6. It passed Senate Health and Human Services 6-0. Here is what I said prior to the Senate Health hearing and stick with:

At this point I hope the Senate gives more scrutiny to the bill than the House did. At first this seemed like a good bill. But the acts described in this bill are already illegal to be performed on a minor. At this point the only reason to vote for the bill is to raise awareness. That is just a bad reason to pass a law. Awareness can be raised outside of codified law.

HB 1130 – SoDakLiberty PostsProhibit an abortion provider from accepting payment for an abortion prior to the end of the required informed consent period.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed House Health 10-0. It passed the House floor 63-4. It was amended in Senate Health to remove the prohibition for a commitment of payment. I then passed Senate Health 6-0.

HB 1058SoDakLiberty Posts –  Revise certain provisions regarding contagious disease control quarantine measures and to declare an emergency.

* Deferred from yesterday!

The bill passed the House Health committee 8-5.

It was then amended on the House floor to make it more specific to “middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), smallpox, or viral hemorrhagic fevers”. The emergency clause was also removed at that time. Removing the emergency clause was expected. Without the emergency clause the bill would only need a simple majority to pass the House floor.

After being amended the bill passed the House floor by a vote of 41-27.

It passed Senate Health 5-1.

I expect this to pass the Senate floor. There are a lot of concerns that this bill gives too much power to DOH. I understand those concerns, but I think DOH already has overly broad powers.

HB 1059SoDakLiberty PostsAllow authorized entities to access immunization information in certain circumstances.

* Deferred from yesterday!

Many people have gotten worked up about this bill because of the change from may to shall. Personally I don’t think this change actually has any impact. This did not allow any new sharing of immunization records. I understand many people don’t like this law, but fighting this bill won’t change the law. That would need to be done with a separate bill to repeal the current law.

This bill passed the House Health committee 8-5.

It was then amended on the House floor with the following addition:

The provider shall verbally notify the patient, or if the patient is a minor, the patient’s parent or guardian of the patient’s ability to refuse to permit immunization information to be shared.

That amendment was able to get this bill passed on the House floor 45-24. But from what I hear this amendment has not pacified those angry about this bill. All this amendment did was say the provider must give verbal notification. I really think amending this bill with a written opt-in would have pacified many detractors. But there is no way the DOH would want to cede that much power…

The bill made it through Senate Health 4-2.

I really don’t think it will be held up in the Senate, but there might be some hot debate.

HB 1043SoDakLiberty Posts – Repeal certain outdated and obsolete provisions regarding the Department of Education.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill was amended in House Ed. After that it passed House Ed and the House floor with no opposition. It passed Senate Ed 5-2.  This bill appears to repeal outdated code.

HB 1013 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions related to social work licensure.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill has met with opposition. It passed 12-1 in the House Health, 40-27 on the House Floor, and 4-1 in Senate Health. This bill needs to be defeated. It uses the force of state government to impose the wishes of a protectionist special interest group. It also prevents potentially good social workers from actually performing the job.

LEGISLATIVE COMMEMORATIONS

SC 23 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Commending the South Dakota Army National Guard’s 153rd Engineer Battalion, Huron, South Dakota, for being awarded the Major General Milton A. Reckord Trophy.

SC 24 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Commending and honoring the West Central High School Track and Cross Country Teams for their accomplishments.

SC 25 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Honoring Macy Miller of Mitchell, South Dakota, for an outstanding high school basketball career.

SC 26 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Commending and honoring Vern DeGeest on his retirement from teaching, coaching, and administrating after fifty-four years in South Dakota schools.

SC 27 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Congratulating Lindsey Smith for taking a “shot” and for being named the Class A Ms. Volleyball for 2014 and for receiving an Under Armour All-American Volleyball Team Honorable Mention for the 2014-2015 year.

SC 28 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Honoring Dr. Jerome Bentz of Platte as the 2015 Family Doctor of the Year.

SC 29 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Honoring Kendra Peterson of Sisseton as 2015 Miss Rodeo South Dakota.

HC 1028 –  SoDakLiberty Posts – Congratulating and commending the Wolsey-Wessington High School Boys Football Team as the 2014 South Dakota Class 9A Championship Runner-Up.

HC 1029 –  SoDakLiberty Posts – Celebrating and honoring the South Dakota Snow Queen Festival on sixty-nine years of existence in the state.

HC 1030 –  SoDakLiberty Posts – Honoring Sheriff Mike Leidholt for his years of dedication, exemplary service, and service as President of the National Sheriffs’ Association.

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