Archive

Posts Tagged ‘2015:SB2’

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 Mon Mar 9

March 9, 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 Monday, March 9, which begins at 2:00 PM central.

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

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

Consideration of Senate Amendments;

Originally this bill changed a may to shall in regards to sharing of immunization records between certain entities. It was 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. The bill made it through Senate Health 4-2. It was then amended on the Senate floor to change the verbal notification to a written notification. The bill as amended passed the Senate floor 30-3. The House must now decide whether it agrees with amendment made on the Senate floor.

HB 1179 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise the definition of a veteran.

Consideration of Senate Amendments

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

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

The amended bill passed the Senate floor 32-2. This amendment may reduce some of the resistance to the bill because it clearly states what benefits are at stake. The House must decide whether to agree with the amendments made on the Senate floor.

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

Amended HJ 33rd LD: SB 69, SB 65 (Consent Calendar), SB 66 (Consent Calendar), SB 67 (Consent Calendar)

SECOND READING OF CONSENT CALENDAR ITEMS

SB 64 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions regarding the registration of business names.

SECOND READING OF SENATE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

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

* Deferred from last week!

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

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

* Deferred from last week!

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

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

* Deferred from last week!

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

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

* Deferred from last week!

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

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

* Deferred from last week!

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

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

* Deferred from last week!

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

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

* Deferred from last week!

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

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

* Deferred from last week!

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

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

* Deferred from 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 73 – SoDakLiberty PostsImprove public safety regarding juvenile justice.

* Deferred from last week!

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

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

* Deferred from last week!

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

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

* Deferred from last week!

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

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

* Deferred from last week!

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

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

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

* Deferred from last week!

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

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

* Deferred from last week!

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

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

* Deferred from last week!

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

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

* Deferred from last week!

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

SB 180 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions regarding the production tax for wind energy facilities and to declare an emergency.

This bill was amended in Senate Commerce and Energy and passed that committee 7-0. It passed the Senate floor 32-2. It was then hoghoused in House Taxation and passed that committee 14-0. This bill would basically change how wind energy facilities are taxed. Currently they are taxed in a way that makes them noncompetitive compared to neighboring states. This bill would allow SD to compete in the wind energy industry. The new version of the bill also has an emergency clause, so it could take effect immediately after being signed into law.

SB 100 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Create a leased residential property classification.

This bill passed Senate Taxation 4-3. It was amended on the Senate floor to remove the new levy for this classification. The amended version of the bill passed. 25-8. This bill would remove the classification non-agricultural acreage and create a new property tax classification of leased residential property. The bill had a slight amendment in House Taxation and passed that committee 10-5. This is a bill I don’t like.

Technically the bill in its current form is a way for the state to collect data about how many leased residential properties there are in the state so it can be determined if property tax changes can be made. This would theoretically allow for lower property taxes that can be passed on to families struggling to pay their rent. Personally I believe the bill would do the opposite long-term. Long-term I believe this classification change would open up the door to property taxes per unit when dealing with rental situations. That could end up being one heck of a large tax increase.

Additionally I don’t think enough property owners will go down to the County office and change the classification of their property just so the state can collect data. It is a bad bill that should just go away.

SB 68 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Provide for a random sampling of nominating petition signatures for statewide offices.

This bill flew through the Senate and through House State Affairs without a no vote. The 5% sampling this bill calls for may have headed off some of the troubles encountered during the 2014 election.

Bills on the SD House floor for Fri Mar 6

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

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

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

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

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

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

Consideration of Senate Amendments

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

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

Consideration of Senate Amendments

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

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

Consideration of Senate Amendments

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

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

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

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

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

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

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

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

SECOND READING OF SENATE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

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

* Deferred from Wednesday!

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

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

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

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

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

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

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

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

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

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

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

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

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

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

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

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

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

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

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

SB 73 – SoDakLiberty PostsImprove public safety regarding juvenile justice.

* Deferred from yesterday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bills on the SD House floor for Thurs Mar 5

March 5, 2015 Comments off

SONY DSCHere are the bills on the SD House floor for Thursday, March 5, which begins at 2:00 PM central.

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

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

Consideration of Senate Amendments

This bill passed House Appropriations 8-0, the House floor 58-11, and Senate Appropriations 9-0. It was amended on the Senate floor and passed 34-0. This bill puts funds directly to the general fund that were in special purpose funds. It appears this might be a way for the executive branch to get around using money the way they are supposed to. The House has to choose whether to agree with an amendment made on the Senate floor to include “any outstanding balance on repayments due to the budget reserve fund pursuant to a legislative act” in the definition of the budget reserve.

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

Consideration of Senate Amendments

This passed House Judiciary 9-3 and the House floor 64-2. Senate Judiciary passed the bill 5-2. It was amended on the Senate floor and passed 33-1. The House must choose whether to agree with the amendment. It appears to me that the amended version of the bill still provides the opportunity to have charges expunged.

SECOND READING OF CONSENT CALENDAR ITEMS

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

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

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

SECOND READING OF SENATE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

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 after being amended on the House floor to add distilled spirits.

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 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.

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 136 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Exclude certain municipal taxes from the gross receipts used to determine the tax liability for customers served by electric cooperatives.

This bill was gutted by Senate Tax. It passed the committee 6-1 after being hoghoused. The new bill seems to do about the same thing, just in a different way. It was then gutted again on the Senate floor, and language similar to the original bill was hoghoused into it. Basically this looks like a good bill. It prevents a tax from being taxed. The re-hoghoused bill passed the Senate floor 32-0. It had a couple of amendments in House Tax and passed that committee 12-0.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

House Agriculture and Natural Resources committee has 2 bills on Tues Mar 3

March 2, 2015 1 comment
Geese at the SD State capital building. Photo by Ken Santema 02/24/15.

Geese at the SD State capital building. Photo by Ken Santema 02/24/15.

On Tuesday, March 3rd, at 7:45 AM the SD House Agriculture and Natural Resources committee will take on 2 bills.

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 then passed the Senate floor 20-12.

Here is what Sen Frerichs has to say about the bill:

Northeast South Dakota and the persistent problem of excess surface water received strong support in the State Senate with passage of SB2. This bill originated from our regional watershed taskforce after studying the issue for three years. SB2 creates nine river basin natural resource districts that cover the entire state for water management. Included in the legislation is a pilot project to take a hands-on look at a potential water and natural resources management plan for a basin district. An oversight legislative taskforce is one more component of SB2 which will draw the boundaries for the districts, identify the framework for water management plans, and identify the necessary powers and duties of the river basin natural resource districts. I serve as the prime sponsor of SB2 and have enjoyed garnering strong support from legislators all across the State. Even more important is the fact that over half of the prevailing votes on SB2 in the Senate came from legislators representing the two largest cities – Sioux Falls and Rapid City. Respect for the need to tackle the problem of water management on an entire basin approach is real, and as a rural legislator, I will continue to build bridges with my urban colleagues. SB2 will be up for a hearing in the House agriculture and natural resources committee and appears to have widespread support.

This is an interesting bill. A big part of me is wary of the bill because it could lead to crazy requirements and overstep of authority as is happening with the EPA. But as a resident of NE SD I have heard about the many water issues here and understand where Frerichs is coming from about excess water. I’ll have to listen to testimony to find out more about this legislation.

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. 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. Personally I think keeping the drainage board local to deal with disputes is the best system.

Bills on the SD Senate floor for Thurs Feb 19

February 19, 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 Thursday, February 19, which begins at 2:00 PM central.

SECOND READING OF CONSENT CALENDAR ITEMS

HB 1136 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions concerning the administration of unlocatable mineral, leasehold, or royalty interests.

SECOND READING OF SENATE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

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

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

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

This bill passed Senate Ag 6-3 after being amended. This bill would create nine river basin natural resource districts. I don’t think this bill should be passed. The districts don’t actually have any power at this point. The initial act just sets up the districts and provides a framework to expand their scope in the future. This will eventually create a new government bureaucracy that will work against the taxpayers.

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

This bill passed Senate Ag 8-0. This is a bad bill. Such mediation does not need to happen at the sate level. Here in Brown County this is a huge issue. Our locally elected County Commission can continue to act in this capacity in Brown County. Let each county decide how best to handle situations where farmers are draining their fields onto neighbors land.

SB 141 – SoDakLiberty Posts –  Accommodate legislation on medical services.

This bill passed Senate State Affairs 9-0. The is probably the worse kind of bill a body can pass. This is a hoghouse vehicle bill. Meaning there is no actual content in the bill. It will simple be passed as is, and then sent to the other chamber. That will allow the bill to be filled in with legislation. Since the bill has already passed one chamber at that point, that means there will not be any public testimony for the bill on the Senate side. If the legislature really feels a bill is important they need to have it ready on time and not use hoghouse vehicle bills in this way!

SB 142 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Enhance South Dakota.

This bill passed Senate State Affairs 9-0. The is probably the worse kind of bill a body can pass. This is a hoghouse vehicle bill. Meaning there is no actual content in the bill. It will simple be passed as is, and then sent to the other chamber. That will allow the bill to be filled in with legislation. Since the bill has already passed one chamber at that point, that means there will not be any public testimony for the bill on the Senate side. If the legislature really feels a bill is important they need to have it ready on time and not use hoghouse vehicle bills in this way!

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

This bill passed Senate State Affairs 9-0. I haven’t listened to the testimony on this one yet. The bill seems to make a lot of substantial changes. It warrants further scrutiny.

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

* Deferred from yesterday!

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 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.

* Deferred from yesterday!

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

* Deferred again 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 1081 – SoDakLiberty PostsRepeal certain provisions regarding county officials and the board of county commissioners.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Deferred again 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.
LEGISLATIVE COMMEMORATIONS

HC 1016 –  SoDakLiberty Posts – Honoring and commending the 2014 Gregory High School Football Team.

%d bloggers like this: