Legislative panel cleans up regulatory processPIERRE -- Circumstances led the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee to assume bigger roles last year in disputes over regulations sought by state agencies, boards and commissions.
By: Bob Mercer, Republic Capitol Bureau
PIERRE -- Circumstances led the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee to assume bigger roles last year in disputes over regulations sought by state agencies, boards and commissions.
The panel of three senators and three representatives found itself at the center of fights every few months.
There were battles over gasoline octane, newspaper legal advertising rates, auction of a state hunting license for a bighorn ram, insurance rules, chiropractor regulations, property value assessments, highway signs for tourist attractions, fur trapping regulations and livestock brand inspection fees.
Now the Legislature has approved a new law clarifying the process for the panel to use. The members have already set their schedule for 2013.
They also issued a notice explaining to agencies the timetable and steps if new rules are needed to be in effect July 1 when most new laws also take effect.
Several new legislators who are lawyers were named to the panel. One of them, Rep. Timothy Johns, R-Lead, is its new chairman.
Johns is a retired circuit judge who, prior to his election to the Legislature, served on the state board responsible for many of South Dakota’s environmental protections.
He was selected chairman of the rules committee at its organizational meeting last week.
House Speaker Brian Gosch, R-Rapid City, had asked Johns if he would be willing to serve on the panel.
“Because of my background I assumed that I could be a contributing member and, therefore, accepted,” Johns said.
He explained that he didn’t seek the chairmanship but was nominated by Sen. Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell.
The three House members are a returning lawmaker, Democratic Rep. Peggy Gibson, of Huron; two first-year Republican lawmakers, Rep. Anne Hajek, of Sioux Falls, and Johns.
The three senators are all returning members. They are Democrat Angie Buhl, of Sioux Falls, and Republicans Jean Hunhoff, of Yankton, and Vehle.