This was the fifth week of session and the midpoint of the 2016 legislature. Things are really heating up due to the large number of controversial bills that are being debated. The Capitol was packed throughout the week with lobbyists and citizens from across the state that came to testify on various bills dealing with tax increases, legalization of medical marijuana, abortion, repealing the death penalty, guns in the Capitol, religious freedom, willing provider insurance policy, and transgender policies.
HB 1008 to restrict access to restrooms and locker rooms in public schools was heard in the Senate Education committee Thursday morning. HB 1008 says that every restroom, locker room, and shower room located in a public elementary or secondary school that is designated for student use and is accessible by multiple students at the same time shall be designated for and used ONLY by students of the same biological sex. So many proponents and opponents came to testify that there wasnít room to even stand in the committee room. HB 1008 was passed on a 6 to 2 vote and will come to the Senate floor next week.
For all of you who have asked if weíre ever going to stop having to change our clocks twice a year, Rep. Elizabeth May and I are bringing HB 1233 to exempt the state from daylight saving time, which will leave South Dakota on standard time year around. Hopefully we can get this one passed, because there are a whole lot of folks wanting it.
Two more Paiges from District 28, Ryder Heitz from Newell and former Sen. Eric Bogueís daughter Katie Bogue from Faith, are serving this two-week term. With all the action going on this week, these young ladies have been very busy.
We passed these bills out of our Agriculture and Natural Resources committee this week:
*SB 136 permits certain cropland along lakes, rivers, and streams to be assessed as noncropland.
*SB 98 revises and repeals certain provisions regarding pork production.
*SB 107 clarifies safety zone restrictions on hunting.
*HB 1011 repeals obsolete and unnecessary statutes concerning game preserves and refuges.
These are some of the bills that passed the Senate this week:
*SB 5 revises the procedure to initiate a school district boundary change.
*SB 58 revising the restrictions for the use of night-vision equipment for hunting predators and varmints at night.
*SB 66 permits the issuance of special license plates to parents or guardians of handicapped dependents. This is my bill that sailed through the Senate on consent.
*SB 70 requiring certain private cemeteries to file an annual financial report.
*SB 71 revising the provisions regarding the issuance of small game licenses and fishing licenses to veterans at reduced fees and to revise the provisions regarding special pheasant hunts for disabled veterans.
*SB 73 clarifying provisions regarding open meetings.
*SB 79 expanding the list of professionals authorized to perform examinations required for a plea of guilty but mentally ill.
*SB 80 limiting the liability for hosts of fishing tournaments.
*SB 85 revises provisions regarding motorcycle license plates.
*SB 90 ensuring that members of the public are able to access and record public meetings.
*SB 91 revises provisions concerning the information on the forms provided to people who sign initiated constitutional amendments, referred laws, or initiated measures.
*SB 102 allows alcoholic beverage licenses and special event alcoholic beverage licenses to be issued on lands and facilities located on state educational institution campuses.
*SB 130 requires the processing of sexual assault exam kits.
*SB 148 authorizing additional nursing facility beds for the Michael J. Fitzmaurice Veterans Home.
These are some of the House bills the Senate passed and sent to the governorís office:
*HB 1025 places certain substances on the controlled substances schedule.
*HB 1027 revises provisions regarding licensure of massage therapists.
*HB 1033 revises provisions concerning elections and election petitions.
*HB 1036 revises provisions concerning campaign finance requirements.
*HB 1037 revises provisions concerning petitions for initiated constitutional amendments, initiated measures, and candidates.
*HB 1056 revises certain provisions relating to the veterans’ preference in employment.
*HB 1063 revises provisions regarding required notice of relocation of a minor child when a protection order is in place.
*HB 1066 revises the provisions regarding the public notice for a meeting of a public body.
*HB 1084 defines when concurrent employment may be used to calculate earnings in workers’ compensation cases.
*HB 1100 sets a minimum size for a sign about zoning changes or conditional use permits.
*HB 1103 revises the provisions regarding the qualification process for municipal office.
Legislators from districts 28 and 29 had a Cracker Barrel at the City Hall in Newell on Saturday. I rode down with Rep. Sam Marty and Rep. Tom Brunner met us at there. Sen. Gary Cammack and Rep. Dean Wink went on the Gov. Daugaardís snowmobile ride, so they werenít there. Around 40 people attended and we discussed the governorís plan to increase sales taxes by half a cent, teacher pay, the stateís attempts to regulate local school districts, the increase of property taxes, drug testing of welfare applicants, doing away with daylight savings time, gun bills, farm machinery ìlemon lawsî, legislative approval for land purchases by GF&P, and the increasing size of state government.
To contact me, call the Senate Chamber at 773-3821, leave a message and Iíll try to return your call. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and the legislative FAX number is 773-6806. When you send a fax, address it to Sen. Betty Olson. You can keep track of bills and committee meetings at this link: legis.sd.gov/ Use the link to find legislators, see what committees they are on, read all the bills and track the status of each bill, listen to committee hearings, and contact the legislators.