ROZUM: Crucial bills moving in final days of sessionIt’s the last week for committees to meet. Discussions are ongoing on Medicaid expansion and where the extra one-time money will go.
By: Tona Rozum , Guest columnist
SB 142, texting while driving ban: This bill handily passed the Senate and will be in the House Judiciary Committee this week. Please email the members of that committee your opinions prior to the committee meeting, if you feel strongly about this bill. Certainly this needs to be heard on the House floor.
HB 1087, school sentinel bill: This would allow school boards to create or enhance armed and trained security in their schools.
It is on the Senate side and, if amended, will return to the House.
HB 1135, non-meandered lakes bill: This bill regulates access to and use of public waters on public and private property. This has been defeated in Senate State Affairs but both sides agreed to work on a compromise over the next year.
HB 1142, patient choice bill: Proponents argue the bill is necessary to allow patients to choose medical providers not in their network; opponents argue it interferes with the free market system. As so often happens, there are many, many sides and potential unintended consequences in a bill. We are on the horizon of changing rules in health care.
I have spent much time trying to figure out if there is a “right” or better answer and have concluded insurers definitely need the ability to offer tiered plans that range from narrow networks to open networks and independent providers want to be able to provide patient care that is in the best interest of their patients. This heads to the Senate.
HB 1204, Common Core Standards: The bill requires the Board of Education to obtain legislative approval before adopting any further Common Core Standards.
This appears to be water under the bridge and adds an additional and unnecessary statute to the books. It will move to the Senate.
SB45: Signed by the governor, the bill allows citizens to apply for renewal of their driver’s license by mail or Internet once in any 10-year period. It’s a good bill.
HB 1090, exempt amateur coaches from sales and use tax: This made it through the House, but I thought it might be tough in the Senate committee, and it was. Currently, the Department of Revenue can tax the salary you pay your Legion and VFW baseball coaches. It is an income tax on top of the employment tax of 15.3 percent for a total of 21.3 percent. This is a subsidy for state government on the backs of kids. Most communities would never guess it is owed. It will be back.
Where do we get the money? Estimates for 2013:
• Sales and use tax, $769.6 million;
• Contractor’s excise tax, $84.6 million;
• Insurance Co. tax, $67.8 million;
• Bank franchise tax, $22.9 million;
• Property tax reduction fund, $107.9 million (trust is funded by video lottery income, 60 percent of telecommunications tax, 33 percent of tobacco tax and remaining general fund money);
• Transfer from trust funds, $27.1 million (Health Care Trust, Education Trust, Cement Trust funds);
• Charges for goods and services, $25.1 million;
• Other ongoing receipts, $152.5 million;
• Total general fund revenues estimated: $1,291,300,000.
It’s the last week for committees to meet. Discussions are ongoing on Medicaid expansion and where the extra one-time money will go.
— Tona Rozum, a Republican from Mitchell, represents District 20 (Davison, Aurora and Jerauld counties) in the South Dakota House of Representatives.