VEHLE: Ag liens, equine dentistry among legislation to receive considerationHowever, there are several topics that are important to people and do not get lots of attention.
By: Mike Vehle, Guest columnist
We are in week five of the Legislature, and the tenor is still very good. Topics gaining headlines include the half-cent tourism tax assessed June, July, August and September (77 percent paid by out-of-staters), allowing sentinels in schools, and the Public Safety Improvement Act. However, there are several topics that are important to people and do not get the same attention. I’ll just mention a couple of them.
Non-consensual ag liens
In the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, we heard a bill to allow agriculture suppliers to obtain a non-consensual lien on crops or livestock in which the supplier has provided the inputs.
This bill is better than one introduced a couple of years back. That former bill gave these non-consensual liens priority over previously filed loans. It still has problems, though — for example, if you hire a supplier to spray your fields and the supplier does substantial damage to your crop, and the supplier still demands full payment without consideration for the spraying error. If this bill passes, in 30 days after the supplier provided the goods and service, the supplier can file a lien against your crops for the full amount of the bill and the elevator where you deliver your grain will have to make its payment to you, the bank and the supplier.
That is why it is called a non-consensual lien, as you did not sign any loan documents with the supplier. When you go to the bank and sign a note, you know the bank will have a lien against your crop. (The supplier is, however, required to send you a notice that they are filling the lien against your crops or livestock when they file it).
Another bill that we heard in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee was one to allow equine dentistry under the supervision of a veterinarian. Currently it is not legal for a person to perform equine dentistry. Generally, the veterinarians are against this move and many horse owners feel that these dentists do excellent work and they should be allowed to practice.
Because sedation is generally needed, there was concern about equine dentists having the knowledge to properly administer these drugs for the safety of the horse.
The reason it is important is that a horse’s teeth continue to grow and they often wear unevenly, therefore making it difficult to eat and also often cutting into the inside skin of the mouth and causing sores. The bill was amended to make the state veterinarian write rules that allow equine dentistry under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Although it passed the Senate Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee, it has a long way to go yet.
These are just a couple of examples of bills that do not generally get much publicity but are important to many people and take considerable work to often amend and to determine if we should make any changes in our current system.
Texting-and-driving hearing scheduled
The texting-while-driving ban I am carrying this year will be heard at 7:45 a.m. Monday by the Transportation Committee. Nearly everyone agrees that it is not safe to text and drive. It is time we make it illegal and start a culture of not texting and driving.
Forum this Saturday
There is a cracker barrel (public legislative forum) at 10 a.m. Saturday in the amphitheater at the Mitchell Technical Institute south campus. We will see you there.
— Mike Vehle, a Republican from Mitchell, represents District 20 (Davison, Aurora and Jerauld counties) in the South Dakota Senate.