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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).

Governor Daugaard signed five final bills for the SD 2015 legislative session

March 20, 2015 Comments off
Rep Gosch on the SD House floor after SB 69 had been killed briefly. Photo by Ken Santema 3/10/15.

Rep Gosch on the SD House floor after SB 69 had been killed briefly. Photo by Ken Santema 3/10/15.

On Friday, March 20, Governor Daugaard signed 5 bills into law. These were five of the final eight bills he waited until today to publicly announce his actions. The other three bills he vetoed.

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

This a group of bills where I wish the Governor had used his veto pen a little bit more. Just like with the 19 bills Daugaard signed yesterday, I’m not going to go too deep into these bills at this time. During the summer I have interviews setup with experts about most of these bills and plan more in-depth posts.

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

Sen Jason Frerichs (D, Dist 1) and Rep Brian Gosch (R, Dist 32) are the prime sponsors at the request of the Regional Watershed Advisory Task Force. 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. The House floor passed it 51-18 and the Senate concurred in the House changes 28-6.

I found this to be a quite odd bill for a Republican legislature to pass. Technically the new river basin natural resource districts could lead to a large and out-of-control bureaucracy in future years. I think the amendment alleviated the short-term 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. If this was really so important I wonder why they couldn’t start small, with just one small test water district. This summer I will be speaking with various proponents and opponents of this bill. Right now I am still very much an opponent, but I will as always keep an open mind.

SB 3 – SoDakLiberty PostsProvide for mediation of certain drainage disputes.

Sen Mike Vehle (R, Dist 20) and Rep Brian Gosch (R, Dist 32) are the prime sponsors at the request of the Regional Watershed Advisory Task Force. This bill was amended in Senate Ag and passed that committee 8-0. It then passed the Senate floor 32-2. House Agriculture and Natural Resources passed the bill 11-0 and the House floor passed it 67-1.

This is a HUGE topic… especially here in Brown County, where the County Commissioners act as the drainage board. There have been a lot of incidents where neighbors get into battles (sometimes with fists) over water drainage issues. At first I opposed the bill. But as time went on and I studied the bill more I feel this was actually good legislation. It will allow for drainage disputes to be settled outside of the judicial system. Currently the County Commissioners have no actual power to settle disputes, and it would be unwise to give them that power. This bill allows for a mediation path that should be cheaper for landowners than through the judicial system.

SB 67 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions regarding challenges to certain election petition signatures.

This bill comes as a request of the SD State Board of Elections. Through session many people, including myself have called it SOS Shantel Krebs bill, but I would like to once again point out the SD State Board of Elections has their name on the bill.

SB 67 passed both chambers with only opposition from 3 on the House floor.

This bill doesn’t seem to be fixing the right problem because it fails to add adequate time for people to challenge a petition. I listened to the SOS give proponent testimony in Senate State Affairs (what seems like forever ago). I do think she made the case that this bill will expedite the court portion of a petition challenge. It undoubtedly will do so. However I believe a bigger problem is citizens getting access to the actual petitions to be challenged, and the voters rolls to do it with. I would have preferred another week for petition challenges be added into this bill. Yes, I think this bill makes an improvement, just not enough. In the end it doesn’t matter what this bill does though. SB 69 (further down the list) is the sister bill to SB 67. Since SB 69 has been amended, the actual good that may come from SB 67 has been destroyed. SB 67 and SB 69 are being submitted (at least in part) to deal with craziness that happened during the 2014 election. As things stand now the election of 2016 may actually be more of a circus thanks to these bills. It should make for interesting blogging!

If the Governor had vetoed SB 69 he would also have had to veto SB 67 because of the timeline changes that connect the two bills.

SB 69SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions regarding elections and election petitions.

This is the only bill I adamantly wanted the Governor to veto. This bill also comes as a request of the SD State Board of Elections. And just like SB 67, originates from SOS Shantel Krebs. Honestly I’m tired of blogging about this bill. I have a post highlighting the whole history of this bill and why it should have been vetoed. Sadly the bill was not vetoed. I’ve already seen groups are looking at challenging the law next year in court. Since there are already federal cases showing certain provisions in SB 69 are unconstitutional it should be an easy case. It is sad the legislature chose to pass a bill with known constitutional issues that taxpayers will now have to pay to defend and the AG will have to spend valuable time defending.

Too bad. This underlying original intent of parts of this bill were pretty good and would have made a good first start towards election reform in SD. But instead now it looks like the legislative leaders in Pierre are acting like bullies to keep opposition off the ballot. That just isn’t healthy for the State of SD.

I probably won’t blog about this anymore until the lawsuits are brought forth. I’ve also heard whispered of an initiated measure to change certain election provisions. That also may be another time I blog about this bill.

SB 177 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Establish a youth minimum wage.

Sen David Novstrup (R, Dist 3) and Rep Justin Cronin (R, Dist 23) are the prime sponsors. This bill passed Senate Commerce and Energy 5-1, the Senate floor 26-7, and House Commerce 11-2. It was then sent back to House Commerce because of a request to get a fiscal note. The bill then passed out of House Commerce 11-1. The House floor passed the bill 44-24.

This bill changes the minimum wage for those under 18 to $7.50. This is in response to the minimum wage going up due to the initiated measure on last years ballot. Personally I think this is a good change. I have spoken to certain employers in the Aberdeen area that use youth help for extra projects during the summer. Their budget for summer help is set to a certain dollar amount. The increased wage for these youth means less hours available for youth labor during the summer. But, at the same time this new minimum wage was just set by the voters of SD. So it might be too soon to make such changes…

I expect most of my blogging about this particular bill will come from the 2016 District 3 race for state Senate. If David Novstrup runs for re-election I would expect the Brown County Democrats to make this their top issue to get a Democrat elected.

Bills on the SD House floor for Weds Mar 4

March 4, 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 Wednesday, March 4, which begins at 2:00 PM central.

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

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

Consideration of Senate Amendments

This bill allows township designate roads as no maintenance. The bill was amended in Senate Transportation to remove language allowing township boards to post a road as closed. Instead the bill is focused on marking a road as no maintenance. The House will need to vote on whether to concur with the amendment, or if it should be sent to committee to work out the differences.

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

SECOND READING OF CONSENT CALENDAR ITEMS

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

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

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

SECOND READING OF SENATE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

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

This bill was on the House floor before. But a fiscal note was requested. Here are my notes about the bill last time it was on the floor:

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.

The fiscal note basically said there was no impact from passing this bill because it doesn’t actually require the new screenings. What the bill does is allow the Department of Health to create rules that would mandate the screenings. At that time a new fiscal note would have to be created.

I still feel this is a bad bill. It is asking the SD Dept of Health to get further into the business between patients and doctors.

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.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed the Senate and House Appropriations with no opposition.The least 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.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed the Senate and House Appropriations with no opposition. Another demolition for SDSU. This bill would appropriate $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.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill was amended in Senate Appropriations went through the Senate and House Appropriations with no opposition. This would appropriate $4,000,000 to build the plant science research support facility for SDSU.

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.

* Deferred from yesterday!

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

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

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 9-2. Personally I don’t care one way or the other about this bill…

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill went through the Senate and through House Education with no opposition. 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 120 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions regarding special alcoholic beverage licenses issued in conjunction with special events and to declare an emergency.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill was hoghoused in Senate Commerce. The new version of this bill seems much more straightforward in allowing a special off-sale package wine dealers or malt beverage dealers license for use in certain special events. The committee also added an emergency clause so it could take effect after being passed into law. The amended bill passed through Senate Commerce, the Senate and House Commerce without opposition.

SB 177 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Establish a youth minimum wage.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Senate Commerce and Energy 5-1, the Senate floor 26-7, and House Commerce 11-2. It was then sent back to House Commerce because of a request to get a fiscal note. The bill then passed out of House Commerce 11-1. This bill changes the minimum wage for those under 18 to $7.50. This is in response to the minimum wage going up due to the initiated measure on last years ballot. Personally I think this is a good change. I have spoken to certain employers in the Aberdeen area that use youth help for extra projects during the summer. Their budget for summer help is set to a certain dollar amount. The increased wage for these youth means less hours available for youth labor during the summer. But, at the same time this new minimum wage was just set by the voters of SD. So it might be too soon to make such changes…

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed the Senate Judiciary committee 7-0, the Senate floor 31-2, and the House Judiciary Committee 10-2. This bill would modify 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 97 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise the allowable penalties for a person admitted to drug court. 

* Deferred from yesterday!

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

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

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

This bill passed through the Senate and through House Appropriations without opposition. It appears to be changing how debt is utilized by the state. But I have to listen to the testimony to make sure.

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. 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 159 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Exempt certain amateur sports coaches from sales and use tax.

This bill had a bit of a journey in the Senate. It originally failed a Do Pass vote in Senate Taxation 3-3, after another member came back to the committee it passed Senate Taxation 4-3. It then failed on the Senate floor 17-15. At the time the prime sponsor Sen Greenfield was out with an injury. Then came a vote to reconsider, which passed 28-3. Finally with Sen Greenfield back it passed the Senate floor 22-13. When it hit House Taxation it passed 10-2. This bill is actually pretty simple. It exempts amateur baseball coaches from Sales and Use Tax if the team is a 501(c)(19) non-profit.

SB 111 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Repeal the provision that invalidates absentee ballots cast by voters who died before the date of the election.

This bill passed Senate Local Government 5-1 and the Senate floor 34-0. The bill failed a Do Pass motion last week by a vote of 6-6 in House Local Government. After being deferred the bill passed House Local Government 7-5. Here is what I said about the bill before, and stick with: “I don’t really see the purpose of this bill. Election day is election day. I already think SD over-uses early voting. I don’t see a problem with the current law that states if you are not alive on election day that your vote won’t count.”

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. 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 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. House Local Government passed the bill 12-0. There really isn’t much left to the bill, why bother at this point?

SB 3 – SoDakLiberty PostsProvide for mediation of certain drainage disputes.

This bill was amended in Senate Ag and passed that committee 8-0. It then passed the Senate floor 32-2. House Agriculture and Natural Resources passed the bill 11-0. This is a HUGE topic… especially here in Brown County, where the County Commissioners act as the drainage board. There have been a lot of incidents where neighbors get into battles (sometimes with fists) over water drainage issues. I don’t see getting the Dept of Ag involved as the answer. Currently cases dealing with drainage issues go to court. This bill would allow mediation of such cases without expense of a court. I have been opposed to this, and still have soft opposition to the bill. But this issue gets hotter and hotter each year in NE South Dakota. Perhaps it is time for an approach such as this to come forward.

Bills on the SD House floor for Tues Mar 3

March 3, 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 Tuesday, March 3, which begins at 2:00 PM central.

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

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

Consideration of Senate Amendments.

This bill was amended in the House Commerce committee and then passed 12-0. It was amended again slightly on the House floor and passed 63-5. It was then further amended in Senate Commerce and Energy and passed that committee 5-1.Finally it passed the Senate floor 34-0. There is no reason to believe the House won’t concur with the changes made to the bill in the Senate.

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

Consideration of Senate Amendments.

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 and the Senate floor 34-0. The House should concur with the changes made on the Senate side.

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

Consideration of Senate Amendments.

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. It then passed Senate Health 6-0 and the Senate floor 29-5. As session has gone on I believe this bill was shown to be unnecessary. But it is very likely the House will concur in the changes made in the Senate.

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

Consideration of Senate Amendments.

This bill passed House Ag 12-0 after being amended and the House floor 69-0. It was amended in Senate Ag. The main change in the amendment was to add language for other recreational activities.  After being amended the bill made it through the Senate without opposition. There is no reason to believe the House won’t concur with the changes made in Senate Ag.

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

Consideration of Senate Amendments

This bill had no opposition in the House. It was amended in Senate Ed from “month-end balances” to “month-end cash balances”. After being amended the bill flew through the Senate without opposition. Current the annual report has a one-time snapshot of account balances. This would require the annual report have monthly balances. That should give better data to work with than a one-time snapshot. The House will likely unanimously concur with the changes made in the Senate.

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

Consideration of Senate Amendments.

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 and the Senate floor 34-0. This is yet another bill that the House will likely unanimously concur with changes made in the Senate.

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

SB 113 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions regarding the fiscal impact statements prepared for legislation that impacts state prison or county jail populations.

SB 30 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise the review process for rate and policy form filing denials for insurers.

SB 128 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions concerning the general requirements that vehicle owners must satisfy before applying for military plates.

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 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 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.

* Deferred from last week!

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

SB 49 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize the Department of Game, Fish and Parks to sell a portion of railway right-of-way to the City of Deadwood.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill passed through the Senate and House State Affairs with no opposition. This bill would allow the GFP to sell real property in Deadwood.

SB 37 – SoDakLiberty PostsAdopt the 2008 Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, to repeal the 1996 Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, and to revise certain provisions relating thereto.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill passed through the Senate without opposition. It passed House Judiciary 9-2. Here are my previous notes on the bill:

The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) is meant, at least in part, to deal with child support orders when multiple states are involved. Honestly, it doesn’t matter if anyone reads the bill or what is in it. It will pass and our state will have to follow the rules in the act. Too bad, I believe every piece of legislation deserves to truly be scrutinized. Below is a passage from the Uniform Law Commission, I have highlighted the sentence explaining why the SD Legislature will pass this bill no matter what is in it:

The 2008 UIFSA Amendments modify the current version of UIFSA’s international provisions to comport with the obligations of the United States under the 2007 Hague Convention on Maintenance. 2014 federal legislation requires all states to enact the 2008 UIFSA Amendments as a condition of continuing to receive federal funds for state child support programs. Failure to enact these amendments during the 2015 legislative session may result in a state’s loss of important federal funding.

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

* Deferred from last week!

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.

This bill makes three slight revisions to the use of a watercraft: 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 89 – SoDakLiberty Posts –Require the development of school safety plans and to require the conduct of lockdown drills in accredited schools.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill passed through the Senate with no opposition. It was amended in the House Education committee to trim it down quite a bit. I still think this is an undue burden on school districts to require this plan. Here is part of what I said about the bill before:

This should be decided on a case by case basis at the local level. Emergency managers have to determine the risk and impact of any given scenario and from there decide if a full plan and drill are necessary. The legislature cannot decide that. Any time put into a plan such as this might take away from planning for more imminent emergencies. The plan described will take a lot of time and resources to create and practice.

The amendments did make the bill less burdensome on schools. The amendments removed all of the specifics that were required to be in the plan. An amendment also reduced requirements for the meetings. I think the amendments removed some of the fear that the plans would overwhelm school districts trying to comply with the proposed change. But overall I still think this type of decision and plan should be at the local level and not dictated.

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

* Deferred from last week!

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 81 – SoDakLiberty PostsRequire persons convicted of driving a vehicle while under influence of alcohol, drugs, or intoxicants to pay certain costs to the county.

* Deferred from last week!

This bill passed Senate Local Government 5-0 and the Senate floor 30-3. House Local Government overwhelmingly supported the bill 12-0. Here is what I previously said about the bill: “This would add an additional fifty dollar penalty for driving under the influence cases. This money would go to the clerk of courts and given to the county treasurer for use in the counties general fund. Finally, if the fifty dollar fee isn’t paid, it is “punishable by contempt proceedings”. Is this a new way for counties to raise revenues?” The legislature is sure finding interesting ways to increase taxes and fees this year…

SB 24 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize the Board of Regents to demolish buildings on the campus of South Dakota State University and to make an appropriation therefor.

This bill passed the Senate  and House Appropriations with no opposition. This will allow the board of regents to demolish a bunch of single-family residence facilities at SDSU so the facilities can be replaced with “lower maintenance and more efficient housing better suited to the long-term needs of the university.” $250,000 would be appropriated for this demolition bill.

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 the Senate and House Appropriations with no opposition.The least 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 the Senate and House Appropriations with no opposition. Another demolition for SDSU. This bill would appropriate $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. This would appropriate $4,000,000 to build the plant science research support facility for SDSU.

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. This bill raises the appropriated funds for construction from $10,000,000 to $11,4000,000.

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. 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 73 – SoDakLiberty PostsImprove public safety regarding juvenile justice.

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 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 9-2. Personally I don’t care one way or the other about this bill…

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. 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 120 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions regarding special alcoholic beverage licenses issued in conjunction with special events and to declare an emergency.

This bill was hoghoused in Senate Commerce. The new version of this bill seems much more straightforward in allowing a special off-sale package wine dealers or malt beverage dealers license for use in certain special events. The committee also added an emergency clause so it could take effect after being passed into law. The amended bill passed through Senate Commerce, the Senate and House Commerce without opposition.

SB 177 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Establish a youth minimum wage.

This bill passed Senate Commerce and Energy 5-1, the Senate floor 26-7, and House Commerce 11-2. It was then sent back to House Commerce because of a request to get a fiscal note. The bill then passed out of House Commerce 11-1. This bill changes the minimum wage for those under 18 to $7.50. This is in response to the minimum wage going up due to the initiated measure on last years ballot. Personally I think this is a good change. I have spoken to certain employers in the Aberdeen area that use youth help for extra projects during the summer. Their budget for summer help is set to a certain dollar amount. The increased wage for these youth means less hours available for youth labor during the summer. But, at the same time this new minimum wage was just set by the voters of SD. So it might be too soon to make such changes…

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

This bill passed the Senate Judiciary committee 7-0, the Senate floor 31-2, and the House Judiciary Committee 10-2. This bill would modify 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 97 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise the allowable penalties for a person admitted to drug court. 

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

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

House Commerce and Energy committee has 2 bills on Weds Feb 25

February 24, 2015 1 comment

Tow-TrucksOn Wednesday, February 25th, at 10:00 AM the SD House Commerce and Energy committee will take on 2 bills.

SB 80 – SoDakLiberty PostsIncrease the selling price of a towed vehicle that exempts the seller of the vehicle from certain vehicle dealer licensing requirements.

Sen Bob Ewing (R, Dist 31) and Rep Fred Romkema (R, Dist 31) are the prime sponsors. This bill flew through the Senate with no opposition. .This bill changes the threshold from $200 to $1000.

SB 177 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Establish a youth minimum wage.

Sen David Novstrup (R, Dist 3) and Rep Justin Cronin (R, Dist 23) are the prime sponsors. This bill passed Senate Commerce and Energy 5-1 and the Senate floor 26-7. This bill changes the minimum wage for those under 18 to $7.50. This is in response to the minimum wage going up due to the initiated measure on last years ballot. Hopefully this will allow employers to continue hiring high school kids this summer for temp labor.

Bills on the SD Senate floor for Weds Feb 18

February 18, 2015 Comments off
SD Senate Floor. Photo by Ken Santema 02/10/15.

SD Senate Floor. Photo by Ken Santema 02/10/15.

Here are the bills on the SD Senate floor for Wednesday, February 18, which begins at 2:00 PM central.

SECOND READING OF CONSENT CALENDAR ITEMS

HB 1076 – SoDakLiberty PostsPermit the submission of a title insurance policy in lieu of an abstract in certain instances.

HB 1099 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions related to transferable interests in limited liability partnerships.

HB 1119 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain adoption proceedings regarding the adult adoption of biological children.

HB 1178 – SoDakLiberty PostsProvide for the creation of an entity for the purpose of insurance contracts in certain instances.

HB 1180 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding the regulation of captive insurance companies.

SECOND READING OF SENATE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

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

This bill passed Senate Judiciary 6-0 after being amended.  The biggest change here appears to be under age 16 to under 18 in human trafficking code.

SB 109 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Establish a grant program for adult community residential services designed to reduce the risk of recidivism, to provide a report to the Legislature, and to make an appropriation therefor.

This bill passed Senate Appropriations 8-0 after being amended. Before being amended, this bill appropriated $250,000 to fund the alternative care program being created by this bill. In addition, $4,000 of that money can be used for administration of the fund. The amendment changed the appropriated amount down to $1; which is what appropriations does with a bill to advance it and the amount can be determined during the final appropriations process.

SB 152 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Make an appropriation for certain costs related to mountain pine beetle suppression and to declare an emergency.

This bill passed Senate Appropriations 8-0 after being amended. This appropriates $1,900,000 to continue the fight against the pine beetles. As usual the bill was amended down to $1 so the bill could advance, but the actual appropriation amount can be determined later.

SB 174 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Make an appropriation for the Ross Shaft at the Sanford Underground Research Facility and to declare an emergency.

This bill passed Senate Appropriations 8-0 after being amended. This bill originally appropriated $3,950,000 to the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority for the purposes of making upgrades and improvements to the Ross Shaft at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. As usual the bill was amended down to $1 so the bill could advance, but the actual appropriation amount can be determined later.

SB 177 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Establish a youth minimum wage.

This bill passed Senate Commerce and Energy 5-1. This bill changes the minimum wage for those under 18 to $7.50. This is in response to the minimum wage going up due to the initiated measure on last years ballot. Hopefully this bill if passed would prevent some of the inevitable job loss that happens to teens when the minimum wage goes up.

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

This bill passed Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources 8-0. After listening to testimony I still don’t see why this bill is necessary. It appears to attempt fixing a problem that doesn’t exist.

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Senate Judiciary 5-2. I don’t see a problem with this bill.

** Interesting side-note. I had the opportunity to meet the Sergeant-at-arms in both houses last week. Apparently it makes leadership nervous when someone is going around taking constant pictures from the gallery. They send the sergeant up to find out who it is. Both sergeants were very nice and I had a nice conversation with them.

SB 159 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Exempt certain amateur sports coaches from sales and use tax.

* Deferred again yesterday!

This passed Senate Tax 4-3, after failing a 3-3 vote. I really haven’t looked into this one.

SB 91 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Make an appropriation to support the South Dakota need-based grant program.

* Deferred again yesterday!

This was amended by Senate Appropriations from $200,000 down to $1. It then passed the committee 8-0. This would appropriate funds for the Board of Regents to use for the South Dakota need-based grant fund.

SB 92 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Make an appropriation to support the South Dakota critical teaching needs scholarship program.

* Deferred again yesterday!

This was amended by Senate Appropriations from $200,000 down to $1. It then passed the committee 8-0.

SECOND READING OF HOUSE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

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 1085 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding the requirement for performance securities.

* Deferred again yesterday!

This bill passed House Commerce, the House floor, and Senate commerce with no opposition. This bill appears to be language clarification.

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

* Deferred again yesterday!

This bill was amended in House Ag and now in Senate Ag. It passed House Ag and the House Floor. It passed in Senate Ag 8-1. The bill originally had 59 sections repealing code. The amended version has 54 sections repealing code.

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

* Deferred yet again 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 yet again 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 1063 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise the notice provisions for the name change of a minor child.

* Deferred yet again yesterday!

This bill passed House Judiciary and the House floor with no opposition. It passed Senate Judiciary 6-1. This one appears to make sure that the other parent of a child is notified when there will be a name change for a child.

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

* Deferred yet again 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 1057 – SoDakLiberty PostsMake an appropriation to reimburse certain eligible health care professionals who have complied with the requirements of the rural health care facility recruitment assistance program and to declare an emergency.

* Deferred yet again yesterday!

This was amended in House Appropriations and passed 8-0. It then passed the House floor and Senate Appropriations with no opposition. The bill originally appropriated $302,500 for use with the rural health care facility recruitment assistance program. This bill was amended in House Appropriations down to the amount of $260,000.

HB 1051 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise various trust and trust company provisions.

* Deferred yet again yesterday!

This bill passed House State Affairs, the House Floor, and Senate State Affairs with no opposition.

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

* Deferred yet again 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.

Senate Commerce committee has 6 bills on Tues Feb 17

February 16, 2015 1 comment

windsOn Tuesday, February 17th, at 10:00 AM the SD Senate Commerce and Energy committee will take on 6 bills.

HB 1178 – SoDakLiberty PostsProvide for the creation of an entity for the purpose of insurance contracts in certain instances.

Rep Jeff Partridge (R, Dist 34) and Sen Tim Rave (R, Dist 25) are the prime sponsors. This bill passed House Commerce and the House floor with no opposition. I find it odd that an artificial entity would be created as a “person” in such circumstances. Aren’t there already entity types that can be utilized?

HB 1180 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding the regulation of captive insurance companies.

Rep Don Haggar (R, Dist 10) and Sen Bruce Rampelberg (R, Dist 30) are the prime sponsors. This bill passed House Commerce and the House floor with no opposition. The big change in this appears to be adding the definition for “Agency captive insurance company” and incorporating agency into the current code.

SB 59 – SoDakLiberty PostsEstablish the state debt collection office.

The SD Department of Revenue (DOR)  asked for this one. This is a bill that hopefully dies a strong death in committee. This bill is nothing more than a government agency asking to grow itself (the new office would fall under the DOR) to be used against SD citizens. Not only will this bill expand government and be used against the people of this state, it will further financially burden those that are being collected upon. Here is a new tax fee being added to those being collected upon:

For any debt referred to the office for collection after July 1, 2015, the office shall collect a cost recovery fee in addition to the debt referred to the office for collection. The cost recovery fee is calculated by multiplying the principal amount of the debt referred to the office by twenty percent.

Twenty percent is likely a lot of money to people who already apparently don’t have the money to pay what they are already in collection for. There are plenty of other problems with this bill. But I’ll stop here and see if it actually makes it through committee before commenting further.

SB 165 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Povide that the financial responsibility policy of a self-insured car rental company is secondary to the financial responsibility policy of the renter.

Sen Blake Curd (R, Dist 12) and Rep Justin Cronin (R, Dist 23) are the prime sponsors. This bill was deferred from Feb 5. Here is what I had to say about the bill prior to that meeting:

This bill does exactly what the title says. I guess that situation must have come up.

SB 177 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Establish a youth minimum wage.

Sen David Novstrup (R, Dist 3) and Rep Justin Cronin (R, Dist 23) are the prime sponsors. This bill changes the minimum wage for those under 18 to $7.50. This is in response to the minimum wage going up due to the initiated measure on last years ballot. Hopefully this bill if passed would prevent some of the inevitable job loss that happens to teens when the minimum wage goes up.

BILLS FOR POSSIBLE ACTION WHICH HAVE HAD PRIOR HEARING.

SB 180 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions regarding the production tax for wind energy facilities.

Sen Tim Rave (R, Dist 25) and Rep Roger Solum (R, Dist 5) are the prime sponsors. I will definitely have to listen to the testimony to see if I understand this bill. This appears to the change the tax on new wind farms from “an annual tax of two percent of the gross receipts” to “an annual tax of .00035 dollars per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by the wind farm”.

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