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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).

Bills killed on the House and Senate floors during SD legislative week seven

March 1, 2015 2 comments
SD State capital dome. Photo by Ken Santema 01/22/15.

SD State capital dome. Photo by Ken Santema 01/22/15.

With week seven of the SD legislative session completed it is time to update my list of 2015 SD legislative bills. This post will focus on bills that have been killed on the House and Senate floors during week seven. My post looking at the bills that died in the first six weeks can be read here.

SB 4 – Defeated on Senate floor – SoDakLiberty PostsMake an appropriation for research concerning the administrative and financial impact of actual use on agricultural land assessments and to declare an emergency.

This bill originally would have appropriated $151,000 for the SDSU Department of Economics to research the assessment and taxation of agricultural land based on actual use. The money appropriated would have to be used by June 30, 2016. SB 4 was amended down to $1 in Senate Appropriations. It passed that committee 6-2. The bill failed on the Senate floor by a vote of 16-18. This is a hot issue that will likely be tried again next year.

SB 139 – Defeated on Senate floor – SoDakLiberty Posts – Authorize the increase in the number of video lottery machines that may be placed in a licensed establishment under certain conditions.

This passed Senate Commerce and Energy 5-2. This would increase the maximum number of video lottery machines from 10 to 15 per licensed establishment. On the Senate floor it was amended to add the provision that only fourteen thousand video lottery machines in total can be placed in South Dakota. Personally I don’t think a large amount of facilities would have taken advantage of this new increased limit per establishment. But we won’t know this year. The Senate floor defeated the bill 13-21.

SB 192 – Defeated on Senate floor – SoDakLiberty Posts – Permit the sergeant-at-arms to carry concealed firearms in the state capitol building under certain conditions.

This bill passed Senate Judiciary 5-2. At first I didn’t see a problem with this bill. But after further thought I am glad the bill died. In the end the sergeant-at-arms in each chamber probably don’t want to carry firearms. This bill came too close to using the sergeant-at-arms positions in a political way to make a statement. This bill was tabled on the Senate floor by a vote of 34-0.

HB 1162 – Defeated on House floor – SoDakLiberty PostsEnact the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact.

This bill passed House Commerce 8-5. This would have adopted the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact. I was on the fence about this bill before its committee hearing. After the hearing I believe this is a bad bill. I don’t believe the proponents made the case that this compact is actually necessary. In fact it almost seemed as if the Compact was being pushed because everyone else is. That alone is not reason enough to enter in a compact. The bill was amended on the House floor to opt out of all long-term care provisions dealing with the compact. That seemed odd. Apparently I’m not the only who found this whole bill needed to go away. The bill failed on the House floor by a vote of 9-60.

HB 1166 – Defeated on House floor – SoDakLiberty PostsProhibit the use of tanning devices by minors.

This bill failed once in House Health. It was then amended to allow minors to use tanning devices with a parent/guardian permission. It then passed House Health 8-5. It was amended on the house floor to specify the parent/guardian permission must be written. Then the bill failed on the House floor 29-40. This is a bill that was better off to let die. It was an intrusion into an industry that already follows what this law was trying to impose upon small business owners. Plus, it is doubtful this being passed into law would have prevented teens from using tanning beds.

HB 1221 – Defeated on House floor – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize unilateral consent in certain divorce proceedings.

This passed House Judiciary 7-5. The odd thing about this one is that the title was amended to change the language away from no-fault divorce. This bill was hotly debate on the House floor. I didn’t really think a bill that would make divorce easier would pass through the legislature. The House failed to pass the bill by a vote of  25-44. I still feel such bills show why government should get completely out of marriage. That would make it a matter between two people and their church.

HB 1223 – Defeated on House floor – SoDakLiberty PostsEnd the state’s involvement with common core state standards and to prohibit the adoption of certain multistate educational standards.

This is a bill I hoped would have a true hearing on the House floor. The long version of this bills history can be read here. But the cliff notes version is the bill was tabled in House Education to stop debate and kill the bill. Rep Dan Kaiser (R, Dist 3) led a smoke-out on the bill, which is a procedural move to force a bill onto the floor from committee. The House Ed committee was then forced to send the bill to the floor, and did so with a Do Not Pass status. Due to the Do Not Pass motion it was still not allowed on the House calendar. So then Rep Kaiser had to ask the House floor to strike the Not from the motion and allow the bill to be calendared for debate. That move failed 31-39. Too bad. I truly believe certain issues transcend the normal committee process and deserve a full debate on the floor. That debate will not happen this year.

HB 1227 – Defeated on House floor – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize counties to impose sales and use taxes.

This bill passed House taxation 9-6. This bill would have allowed a county to implement a sales and use tax up to two cents. I know there are some counties that have been pushing for this ability. The bill also provides a good debate of local control versus the state keeping taxes low. But no matter what I didn’t think this bill would make it all the way through the legislature. With the massive transportation funding bill upcoming it is unlikely the legislature would pass another potential huge tax increase this year (although it really would be counties raising taxes if this bill passed).

HB 1233 – Defeated on House floor – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding tax compacts with Indian tribes.

This was a hoghouse vehicle bill. But oddly enough this bill just took the content of HB 1234 and placed it into this vehicle bill. It passed House Taxation 12-3. This is an odd one for me, probably because I don’t understand tribal compacts with the State. The proponents of this bill said the changes were required for the tribes to talk with the state about certain tax agreements and for the tribes to keep some of their money. I hope to meet with someone later this week to better understand the topic. Even though the bill is dead for this year, I can definitely see it coming back next year if it truly is important to the tribes. But at the same time it almost appears the tribes want to have the best of both worlds, they want to take money from state and still receive benefits from the state those tax dollars would have gone towards. Like I said though I need to understand the situation better, perhaps my impression is wrong. The bill died on the House floor 25-44.

Bills on the SD House floor for Weds Feb 25

February 25, 2015 Comments off
SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 02/24/15.

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

Here are the bills on the SD House floor for Wednesday, February 25, which begins at 2:00 PM central. Wednesday is crossover day! All House bills have to be dealt with by the end of session on Weds. That means only House bills will likely be dealt with.

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

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.

SECOND READING OF HOUSE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed House Local Government 10-3. I listened to testimony on this bill. It appears this bill is being pushed so CAFO’s can get around local control. At this time I see this bill as one that needs to be defeated.

HB 1166 – SoDakLiberty PostsProhibit the use of tanning devices by minors.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill failed once in House Health. It was then amended to allow minors to use tanning devices with a parent/guardian permission. It then passed House Health 8-5. I still think it is a bad law. It is just needless government interference into people’s lives and the market.

HB 1153 – SoDakLiberty PostsExpand the definition of teleconference to include certain meetings conducted through electronic text colloquy and to require the retention of certain records of text colloquy meetings for public inspection.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Local Government 11-2 after being amended. This was a good bill. Then it was amended to make it a little more watered down. It is still a move in the right direction though. So hopefully it passes.

HB 1227 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize counties to impose sales and use taxes.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This passed House taxation 9-6. This bill would allow a county to implement a sales and use tax up to two percent. I know there are some counties that could use this funding mechanism. The question is whether the legislators will consider this with the massive transportation bills out there already.

HB 1169 – SoDakLiberty PostsAccommodate legislation on medical services.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This is a hoghouse vehicle bill; meaning it doesn’t have any actual legislation. Therefore it will either be amended on the House floor and passed on to the Senate. Or it will be passed on to the Senate as a blank check. Either way it is bad. It cuts out the public hearing a bill should happen in the chamber of origin.

HB 1170 – SoDakLiberty PostsAccommodate legislation relating to education in South Dakota.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This is a hoghouse vehicle bill; meaning it doesn’t have any actual legislation. Therefore it will either be amended on the House floor and passed on to the Senate. Or it will be passed on to the Senate as a blank check. Either way it is bad. It cuts out the public hearing a bill should happen in the chamber of origin.

HB 1171 – SoDakLiberty PostsEnhance South Dakota.

*Deferred from yesterday!

This is a hoghouse vehicle bill; meaning it doesn’t have any actual legislation. Therefore it will either be amended on the House floor and passed on to the Senate. Or it will be passed on to the Senate as a blank check. Either way it is bad. It cuts out the public hearing a bill should happen in the chamber of origin.

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

* Deferred from yesterday.

This bill passed House Judiciary 8-5. This 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 1233 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions regarding tax compacts with Indian tribes.

This was a hoghouse vehicle bill. But oddly enough this bill just took the content of HB 1234 and placed it into this vehicle bill. It passed House Taxation 12-3.

This bill would add the following taxes to the list of tax collection agreements with Indian tribes:

(13) The uniform municipal non-ad valorem tax imposed by chapter 10-52;
(14) The taxation of telecommunications companies tax imposed by chapter 10-33A;
(15) The taxation of telephone companies tax imposed by chapter 10-33;
(16) The taxation of rural electric companies tax imposed by chapter 10-36; and

HB 1110 – SoDakLiberty PostsApprove the addition of judges to the Second and Seventh Judicial Circuits and to make an appropriation therefor.

Here is what the bill originally appropriated before House Appropriations amended the amounts down to a dollar:

  • $227,216 for the creation of a circuit court judgeship in the Second Judicial Circuit. $213,571 of that can be used for personal services and benefits. $13,645 can be used for operational expenses. 2.0 FTE for a circuit judge position and support staff in the Second Judicial Circuit.
  • $227,216 for the creation of a circuit court judgeship in the Seventh Judicial circuit. $213,571 of that can be used for personal services and benefits. $13,645 can be used for operational expenses. 2.0 FTE for a circuit judge position and support staff in the Seventh Judicial Circuit.

The bill passed House Appropriations 8-0.

HB 1190 – SoDakLiberty PostsMake an appropriation for community-based provider workforce improvement and to declare an emergency.

Here is what the bill originally appropriated before House Appropriations amended the amounts down to a dollar:

  • $2,926,732 from the general fund and $1,863,190 in federal funds to the Department of Social Services for the purpose described in section 1 of this Act.
  • $1,041,240 from the general fund and $1,041,411 in federal funds to the Department of Human Services for the purpose described in section 1 of this Act.
  • $157,028 from the general fund and $79,791 in federal funds to the Department of Corrections for the purpose described in section 1 of this Act.

The bill passed House Appropriations 8-0.

HB 1221 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize unilateral consent in certain divorce proceedings.

This passed House Judiciary 7-5. The odd thing about this one is that the title was amended to change the language away from no-fault divorce.

This bill removes the following line from § 25-4-17.2

The court may not render a judgment decreeing the legal separation or divorce of the parties
on the grounds of irreconcilable differences without the consent of both parties unless one party has not made a general appearance.

HB 1140 – SoDakLiberty PostsIncrease the crimes and lookback period to enhance the penalty for violating a protection order.

This bill was amended in House Judiciary and passed that committee 13-0. The lookback period in this bill changes from 5 years to 10 years.

HB 1218 – SoDakLiberty PostsAccommodate legislation relating to education in South Dakota.

This bill was hoghoused in House State Affairs. The bill now changes payments from a schools capital outlay fund for Tech schools.

HB 1046 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding zero based budgets, budgeting procedures, and the coordination of federally aided programs.

This bill was amended and passed House Appropriations 9-0. I have yet to listen to testimony on this bill.

HB 1228 – SoDakLiberty PostsEstablish an obligation recovery center.

This bill was originally titled “Establish the state debt collection office”. I guess some legislators felt “obligation recovery center” sounded much nicer…  This is a hoghouse vehicle bill. The Senate version of this bill (SB 59 – SoDakLiberty Posts) was tabled. This bill was filled with the language the Department of Revenue wants. SD does not need to expand government just to be used against citizens of the state.

SECOND READING OF SENATE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

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.

* Deferred from yesterday!

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. This bill appears to be clarifying the lease payments made by the legislature for education buildings.

SB 75 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise the effective period of the travel permit for certain livestock used for rodeo purposes and to declare an emergency.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill was amended to add an emergency clause in Senate Ag, it passed 9-0. It then went on to pass the Senate floor 33-0. Finally, it went though House Ag 12-0. This bill changes the permit from being good for a calendar year to being good for twelve months from the date of endorsement.

SB 76 – SoDakLiberty Posts Extend the length of time a local livestock ownership inspection certificate is valid for transportation.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources committee 7-2 and went on pass the Senate floor 27-6. In House Ag is passed 11-1. This changes the certificate from being good for the day it is issued to being good for twenty-four hours after the inspection. I know some current ranchers do not like this bill because they believe it would theoretically make theft of cattle harder to prevent.

SB 93 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Impose a gross receipts tax on the rental of certain motorcycles in lieu of the excise tax on motor vehicles.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Senate Tax and the Senate floor with no opposition. It passed House Tax 13-1. Rep Nancy Rasmussen (R, Dist 17) was the dissenting vote. I still haven’t listened to the testimony on this bill to find out why this bill is or isn’t good.

SB 45 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions relating to the sale of unpasteurized raw milk.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill was amended in the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources committee and passed with a vote of 7-2. It passed the Senate floor 30-4. Then in House Ag is passed with no opposition. I was quite apprehensive about this bill before the Senate Ag hearing. Since that time I have listened to the committee hearing and studied the bill. There are some portions of the bill I think are maybe a little strict, but overall I think this is a great step forward compared to where the Dept of Ag was at two years ago. At this time I hope the bill is passed so the raw milk (and now raw cream) producers in SD can move forward.

SB 41 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions pertaining to commercial driver licensing.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Senate Transportation 6-0, the Senate floor 30-4, finally House Transportation. I still haven’t listened to testimony on this bill. It changes quite a bit of code.

SB 94 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Establish a license fee for electric-powered motorcycles.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Senate Transportation, the Senate Floor, and House Transportation with no opposition. I still want to test drive an electric-powered motorcycle.

SB 118 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Provide additional transparency for prescription drug plans.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill was substantially amended in Senate Commerce and passed that committee 7-0. It then went on to pass the Senate floor without opposition. Finally the bill passed House Health 12-1. A lot of this bill seems aimed at making sure certain parts of the rx drug plans have certain details.

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Senate Health 5-1. It was amended on the Senate floor and then was passed 31-4. Finally it passed Health and Human Services 9-4. This is a horrible bill. The DOH has no place getting between the doctor and patient. What tests a newborn goes through should not involve a government agency at all.

SB 63 – SoDakLiberty PostsAdopt the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Senate Health and Human Services 6-0. It was amended on the Senate floor with following section added:

No state general funds shall be used to support the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact enacted by this bill.

The bill then passed the Senate floor 24-10. It then passed House Health and Human Services 13-0. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) has come out against this bill because it would potentially place bureaucratic burdens on physicians within South Dakota. Upon further research I hope there is more opposition to the bill in the House. One thing SD doctors do not need is another barrier between them and focusing on their patients issues.

SB 47 – SoDakLiberty PostsMake an appropriation from the coordinated natural resources conservation fund to the State Conservation Commission and to declare an emergency.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This passed through the Senate and House Appropriations with no opposition. This bill gives $500,000 to the State Conservation Commission.

LEGISLATIVE COMMEMORATIONS

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.

SC 19 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Commending and honoring the Lennox School FFA chapter.

SC 20 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Honoring and celebrating Leslie Fylling upon receiving the Teacher of the Year award, presented by the Tea Area Parent Teacher Organization.

SC 21 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Recognizing and commending the 100th anniversary of the Order of the Arrow, the National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America.

Bills on the SD House floor for Tues Feb 24

February 23, 2015 2 comments
SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 02/11/15.

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

Here are the bills on the SD House floor for Tuesday, February 24, which begins at 2:00 PM central. Wednesday is crossover day. All House bills have to be dealt with by the end of session on Weds. That means only House bills will likely be dealt with.

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

HB 1055 – SoDakLiberty PostsRepeal certain outdated and unnecessary statutes and administrative rules related to the Department of Agriculture.

Senate Ag amended the bill and it passed through the Senate floor easily. Now the House has to decide whether to agree to the changes made to 1055 in the senate. The bill originally had 59 sections repealing code. The amended version has 54 sections repealing code.

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

Amended HJ 25th LD: HB 1233, HB 1110, HB 1190, HB 1221, HB 1140
DO NOT PASS: HB 1223

Normally I wouldn’t post anything about the consideration of reports of committees. However the smokeout of HB 1223 continues. Since the Ed Committee sent the bill to the floor with a Do Not Pass recommendation, the floor has to vote on whether to allow the bill to actually be placed on the calendar. If that vote passes, then the actual bill can be debated.

SECOND READING OF CONSENT CALENDAR ITEMS

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

SECOND READING OF HOUSE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

HB 1185 – SoDakLiberty PostsMake an appropriation for property and casualty loss coverage, to establish the property and casualty captive insurance company fund for state properties, and to declare an emergency.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill passed House Appropriations 8-0 after being amended (casualty was misspelled as casually in part of the bill). This bill appropriates $4,000,000 to “the Bureau of Administration for the purpose of making a grant to a captive insurance company controlled entirely by the state to fund property and casualty loss coverage.” Daugaard has mentioned this before. It makes sense for an entity as big as the state to take such an approach to insure property owned by the state.

HB 1186 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise an appropriation made to the Science and Technology Authority.

* Deferred from last week!

The bill passed House Appropriations 9-0. Here is the language being added to the act that provides the agreement with owners of the former Homestake Mine:

Up to two million five hundred thousand dollars of the indemnification fund may be used to provide initial capital and pay expenses for a captive insurance company upon the terms and conditions to be set forth in the agreement between the owners of the former Homestake Mine and the authority. If released in writing by the owners of the former Homestake Mine, up to seven million five hundred thousand dollars of the indemnification fund may be used by the authority for the purpose of a project, as defined in subdivision 1-16H-3(3), at the former Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota.

HB 1187 – SoDakLiberty PostsMake an appropriation for liability coverage for the South Dakota Building Authority, South Dakota Health and Educational Facilities Authority, South Dakota Housing Development Authority, South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority, and South Dakota Education Enhancement Funding Corporation, to establish the liability captive insurance company fund, and to declare an emergency.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill passed House Appropriations 8-0 after being amended. This appears to be a sister bill to HB 1185. It appropriates $2,000,000 to “the Bureau of Administration for the purpose of making a grant to a captive insurance company to provide liability coverage to the South Dakota Building Authority, South Dakota Health and Educational Facilities Authority, South Dakota Housing Development Authority, South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority, and the South Dakota Educational Enhancement Funding Corporation.”

HB 1162 – SoDakLiberty PostsEnact the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact.

This bill passed House Commerce 8-5. This would adopt the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact. I was on the fence about this bill before its committee hearing. After the hearing I believe this is a bad bill. I don’t believe the proponents made the case that this compact is actually necessary. In fact it almost seemed as if the Compact was being pushed because everyone else is. That alone is not reason enough to enter in a compact.

HB 1231 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize the forfeiture of any financial benefit or valuables gained from prostitution or pimping.

* Removed from the Consent Calendar last week and deferred.

This bill passed House Commerce and Energy 12-0. This adds a lot of references to other parts of code dealing with prostitution for forfeiture. Personally I believe forfeiture laws are misguided. There is too great of a danger when entities of the state are allowed to take property.

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

This bill was hoghoused in the House Judiciary committee and passed that committee 12-0. I haven’t had time to study the hoghoused version, but glancing through it I can’t see any red flags. I believe my words about the original bill hold true:

This bill appears to be fallout from EB5/Bollen/Benda. It creates greater specificity in law prohibiting a state official from creating deals that would benefit them-self. The idea of this bill is sound, I just need to research it more to make sure the actual language is sound.

The bill also continues these prohibitions for one year after the person is no longer a state official.

HB 1205 – SoDakLiberty PostsProvide for the certification by a chief law enforcement officer of the transfer of certain firearms.

House Judiciary amended the bill twice and the bill passed that committee 12-0. I haven’t listened to the testimony on this one to find out what is driving the bill.

HB 1225 – SoDakLiberty PostsProhibit the unauthorized commercial use of a personality’s right of publicity and provide a civil remedy therefor.

This bill had a major amendment changing wording around in House Judiciary and passed that committee 12-0. I have apprehensions about this bill due to its ties to the MPAA. However the amended version of the bill doesn’t seem to raise any red flags for me. This bill is a bill I will likely further research this weekend (I’m assuming it will pass the House, but if it is bad there is time to fight against it in the Senate).

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

This bill passed House Local Government 10-3. I listened to testimony on this bill. It appears this bill is being pushed so CAFO’s can get around local control. At this time I see this bill as one that needs to be defeated.

HB 1166 – SoDakLiberty PostsProhibit the use of tanning devices by minors.

This bill failed once in House Health. It was then amended to allow minors to use tanning devices with a parent/guardian permission. It then passed House Health 8-5. I still think it is a bad law. It is just needless government interference into people’s lives and the market.

HB 1153 – SoDakLiberty PostsExpand the definition of teleconference to include certain meetings conducted through electronic text colloquy and to require the retention of certain records of text colloquy meetings for public inspection.

This bill passed Local Government 11-2 after being amended. This was a good bill. Then it was amended to make it a little more watered down. It is still a move in the right direction though. So hopefully it passes.

HB 1227 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize counties to impose sales and use taxes.

This passed House taxation 9-6. This bill would allow a county to implement a sales and use tax up to two percent. I know there are some counties that could use this funding mechanism. The question is whether the legislators will consider this with the massive transportation bills out there already.

HB 1169 – SoDakLiberty PostsAccommodate legislation on medical services.

This is a hoghouse vehicle bill; meaning it doesn’t have any actual legislation. Therefore it will either be amended on the House floor and passed on to the Senate. Or it will be passed on to the Senate as a blank check. Either way it is bad. It cuts out the public hearing a bill should happen in the chamber of origin.

HB 1170 – SoDakLiberty PostsAccommodate legislation relating to education in South Dakota.

This is a hoghouse vehicle bill; meaning it doesn’t have any actual legislation. Therefore it will either be amended on the House floor and passed on to the Senate. Or it will be passed on to the Senate as a blank check. Either way it is bad. It cuts out the public hearing a bill should happen in the chamber of origin.

HB 1171 – SoDakLiberty PostsEnhance South Dakota.

This is a hoghouse vehicle bill; meaning it doesn’t have any actual legislation. Therefore it will either be amended on the House floor and passed on to the Senate. Or it will be passed on to the Senate as a blank check. Either way it is bad. It cuts out the public hearing a bill should happen in the chamber of origin.

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

This bill passed House Judiciary 8-5. This 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).

SECOND READING OF SENATE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

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.

* Deferred from last week!

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. This bill appears to be clarifying the lease payments made by the legislature for education buildings.

SB 75 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise the effective period of the travel permit for certain livestock used for rodeo purposes and to declare an emergency.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill was amended to add an emergency clause in Senate Ag, it passed 9-0. It then went on to pass the Senate floor 33-0. Finally, it went though House Ag 12-0. This bill changes the permit from being good for a calendar year to being good for twelve months from the date of endorsement.

SB 76 – SoDakLiberty Posts Extend the length of time a local livestock ownership inspection certificate is valid for transportation.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill passed the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources committee 7-2 and went on pass the Senate floor 27-6. In House Ag is passed 11-1. This changes the certificate from being good for the day it is issued to being good for twenty-four hours after the inspection. I know some current ranchers do not like this bill because they believe it would theoretically make theft of cattle harder to prevent.

SB 93 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Impose a gross receipts tax on the rental of certain motorcycles in lieu of the excise tax on motor vehicles.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill passed Senate Tax and the Senate floor with no opposition. It passed House Tax 13-1. Rep Nancy Rasmussen (R, Dist 17) was the dissenting vote. I still haven’t listened to the testimony on this bill to find out why this bill is or isn’t good.

SB 45 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions relating to the sale of unpasteurized raw milk.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill was amended in the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources committee and passed with a vote of 7-2. It passed the Senate floor 30-4. Then in House Ag is passed with no opposition. I was quite apprehensive about this bill before the Senate Ag hearing. Since that time I have listened to the committee hearing and studied the bill. There are some portions of the bill I think are maybe a little strict, but overall I think this is a great step forward compared to where the Dept of Ag was at two years ago. At this time I hope the bill is passed so the raw milk (and now raw cream) producers in SD can move forward.

SB 41 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions pertaining to commercial driver licensing.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill passed Senate Transportation 6-0, the Senate floor 30-4, finally House Transportation. I still haven’t listened to testimony on this bill. It changes quite a bit of code.

SB 94 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Establish a license fee for electric-powered motorcycles.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill passed Senate Transportation, the Senate Floor, and House Transportation with no opposition. I still want to test drive an electric-powered motorcycle.

SB 118 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Provide additional transparency for prescription drug plans.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill was substantially amended in Senate Commerce and passed that committee 7-0. It then went on to pass the Senate floor without opposition. Finally the bill passed House Health 12-1. A lot of this bill seems aimed at making sure certain parts of the rx drug plans have certain details.

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

* Deferred from last week!

This bill passed Senate Health 5-1. It was amended on the Senate floor and then was passed 31-4. Finally it passed Health and Human Services 9-4. This is a horrible bill. The DOH has no place getting between the doctor and patient. What tests a newborn goes through should not involve a government agency at all.

SB 63 – SoDakLiberty PostsAdopt the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill passed Senate Health and Human Services 6-0. It was amended on the Senate floor with following section added:

No state general funds shall be used to support the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact enacted by this bill.

The bill then passed the Senate floor 24-10. It then passed House Health and Human Services 13-0. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) has come out against this bill because it would potentially place bureaucratic burdens on physicians within South Dakota. Upon further research I hope there is more opposition to the bill in the House. One thing SD doctors do not need is another barrier between them and focusing on their patients issues.

SB 47 – SoDakLiberty PostsMake an appropriation from the coordinated natural resources conservation fund to the State Conservation Commission and to declare an emergency.

This passed through the Senate and House Appropriations with no opposition. This bill gives $500,000 to the State Conservation Commission.

LEGISLATIVE COMMEMORATIONS

HC 1022 –  SoDakLiberty Posts – Honoring the Pierre Junior Shooters BB Gun Team for winning the 2014 Daisy National BB Gun Championship.

HC 1023 –  SoDakLiberty Posts – Commending and honoring the Parkston Trojan football team on a successful 2014 season.

HC 1024 –  SoDakLiberty Posts – Honoring the Parkston High School wrestling team and coach Jared Digmann on their accomplishments.

HC 1025 –  SoDakLiberty Posts – Honoring the Parkston High School Girls Golf program and coaches Tyler Hockett and Eric Norden on their accomplishments.

HC 1026 –  SoDakLiberty Posts – Honoring Parkston High School Athletic Director and Girls Basketball Coach Rob Vanlaecken on his career accomplishments and retirement.

HC 1027 –  SoDakLiberty Posts – Congratulating and commending the Yankton High School Bucks football team for winning the 2014 State 11AA Football Championship.

SC 18 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Honoring the memory of Emmett Bendix “Ike” Oleson for his life-long dedication to education.

House Health and Human Services committee has 3 bills on Thurs Feb 19

February 18, 2015 1 comment
Suntan Goggles © Johanna Goodyear | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Suntan Goggles
© Johanna Goodyear | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Updated 2-19-15 – Earlier I incorrectly stated this is the last day to move bills from the chamber of origin to the floor. There is in fact one more opportunity to do so for these committees on next Tuesday!

On Thursday, February 19th, at 7:45 AM the SD House Health and Human Services committee will take on 3 bills.

This is the second to last day this committee has to move House bills from the committee to the House floor.

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

This bill passed Senate Health 5-1. It was amended on the Senate floor and then was passed 31-4.

Here is what I had to say about the bill prior to its Senate Health hearing:

The Department of Health asked for this bill. This would extend current law of infants being checked for metabolic disorders be extended to inherited and genetic disorders. I don’t like this bill at all. There is no reason for the DOH to get involved in the genetics of infants.

Now that I’ve had more time to look into the bill and listen to testimony I more firmly believe this is a bad bill. The DOH has no place getting between the doctor and patient. What tests a newborn goes through should not involve a government agency at all.

SB 63 – SoDakLiberty PostsAdopt the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

This bill passed Senate Health and Human Services 6-0. It was amended on the Senate floor with following section added:

No state general funds shall be used to support the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact enacted by this bill.

The bill then passed the Senate floor 24-10.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) has come out against this bill because it would potentially place bureaucratic burdens on physicians within South Dakota. Upon further research I hope this bill is killed in House committee. One thing SD doctors do not need is another barrier between them and focusing on their patients issues.

BILLS FOR POSSIBLE ACTION WHICH HAVE HAD PRIOR HEARING.

HB 1166 – SoDakLiberty PostsProhibit the use of tanning devices by minors.

This bill has been heard in committee before and was deferred after failing to pass. The failing committee vote was 6-6. Here is what I had to say about the bill before:

Rep Scott Munsterman (R, Dist 7) and Sen Larry Tidemann (R, Dist 7) are the prime sponsors of this bill. Personally I don’t understand why anyone (including my wife) chooses to use tanning devices. Further I see no reason why there needs to be a law to make this decision for parents. Hopefully this bill dies in committee.

I still feel my above words hold true. In addition I have a feeling some people are trying to finish of the tanning industry completely after ACA failed to do so.

House Health has three bills on Thur Feb 5

February 4, 2015 1 comment

1272892186On Thursday, February 5th, at 7:45 AM the SD House Health and Human Services committee will take on 3 bills.

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

Rep Lynne DiSanto (R, Dist 35) and Sen Jenna Haggar (R, Dist 10). This is an issue that has come light as South Dakota continues to get more immigrants. Some of these immigrants come from cultures where female genital mutilation is considered almost compulsory to be accepted within that culture. However, in the US female genital mutilation is considered barbaric and dangerous to the target. In particular it appears some forms of FGM are targeted at young girls. The debate on this one should be interesting indeed. It should be noted that this act appears to only apply to females under the age of 18.

HB 1166 – SoDakLiberty PostsProhibit the use of tanning devices by minors.

Rep Scott Munsterman (R, Dist 7) and Sen Larry Tidemann (R, Dist 7) are the prime sponsors of this bill. Personally I don’t understand why anyone (including my wife) chooses to use tanning devices. Further I see no reason why there needs to be a law to make this decision for parents. Hopefully this bill dies in committee.

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

This bill passed Senate Health 5-1. It was amended on the Senate floor and then was passed 31-4.

Here is what I had to say about the bill prior to its Senate Health hearing:

The Department of Health asked for this bill. This would extend current law of infants being checked for metabolic disorders be extended to inherited and genetic disorders. I don’t like this bill at all. There is no reason for the DOH to get involved in the genetics of infants.

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