It was a big week for South Dakota as Governor Noem released her budget plan for the state. Governor Noem has a passion for protecting our natural resources, and she is asking for $1million for the South Dakota Habitat Foundation, a one-time expense of $225,000 towards controlling our states predator issue, and $500,000 one-time expense to improving our state parks that bring so much joy for our friends, family, and out of state travelers.
The Governor also highlighted bringing better expanded broadband to our state. There are many rural areas who have limited or no internet service. It’s important that our rural areas can have this access, to allow our citizens to pursue online education, so our high school students can gain access to online college courses, and to bring business to our rural areas. The governor is putting $5 million towards broadband expansion for South Dakota.
Governor Noem is also putting money aside to help our veterans. Our Governor has seen and heard the concerns for the Veterans Affairs institutions and she is asking for $130,000 to bring on two full time employees to assist with these concerns and find solutions. $100,000 is also being asked for Veterans’ homes. Governor Noem wants to bring South Dakota forward in the nation as a state that takes care of its veterans.
Governor Noem also asked that South Dakota legislature open the Opportunity Scholarship to home school students. She is asking for $100,000 to be put towards this scholarship.
This week, the flood gates opened for the bills hitting the floor. Representatives are seeing and voting on their bills. The bills that were voted on and passed on to the senate are numerous.
House Bill (HB) 1023 will allow the selling of velvet antlers and full skin of big game animals, it will be legal to sell bear skin with paws if the bill passes the senate.
HB1024, will allow certain species of lake herring and sunfish to be used as bait. These fish need to be caught in the legal guidelines and within the legal limit.
HB1034 this bill revisits South Dakota’s rules with unemployment insurance contribution rates. This bill makes the rates of tax on the insurance contributions stable, in other words it makes the insurance a safer investment for out South Dakota employees.
HB1008 is a bill that changes the required notification time for a party’s conference from 30 days to 5 days, this gives every political party more time to let the Capitol know everything needed about the conference and will avoid any scheduling conflicts.
HB1025 would going to allow for same day registration, 17 other states in the United States allow their citizen to register. This gives everyone the chance to vote if they have moved and forgot to re-register for their new address.
In South Dakota we find many rural communities underserved in healthcare in the law, and to help our South Dakota citizens have more access to law makers we created a 5-year program, ending in 2023, that brings 32 lawyers to different rural towns to serve. HB1046 was written to extend this program indefinably, so those 32 rural areas would always have a lawyer to access.
In the House Transport committee had an interesting brief from the Department of Transport (DOT) on the growing market of electric vehicles and the growing popularity of self-driving vehicles. The DOT made it clear that technological advances are quick to make changes to our roadways, and commerce. It is an area that all South Dakotans should watch as the cost of this technology becomes
HB1047 – if a defendant is found “guilty but mentally ill” and is placed on probation, the
sentencing court, upon recommendation of a licensed psychiatrist or a licensed psychologist, shall make treatment a condition of probation. And any report required will be turned to the appropriate court.
HB1049—changes the laws that is a teenager is pulled over and found to have a controlled substance they are charges with a misdemeanor and no a felony. If the controlled substance is prescribed to them, they do not get charged.
HB1007- Ensured federal education for vets and their benefits are not at risk to being lost.
HB1043—This bill creates a reporting requirement for state DSS when a report of child abuse and neglect is found. If the parent is a member of the military, DSS must report the abuse case to the Department of Defense Family Advocacy
HB1052- This bill allows for a call regarding the notice giving to the county commissioner.