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Daugaard's K-12 package is introduced via four bills

PIERRE — The components of Gov. Dennis Daugaard's K-12 school funding plan received their bill numbers Tuesday.

The half-cent increase in the state sales tax to 4.5 percent is HB 1182. The House Appropriations Committee is its sponsor.

The Senate Appropriations Committee is sponsoring his three other bills on school funding.

SB 131 sets a teacher target salary of $48,500 and establishes a teacher-students ratio for funding that would replace the per-student allocation used the past 20 years.

SB 132 establishes one-time programs that would be run through the state Education Department.

SB 133 encourages schools to share services, expands offerings from the Statewide Center for E-Learning at Northern State University, provides for simpler transfers by teachers into South Dakota from other states and develops a mentoring program for new teachers.

AUTOERASE: Sen. Craig Tieszen wants people's criminal records to automatically be wiped clean of Class 2 misdemeanors after 10 years have passed.

Tieszen, a Republican, is a retired police chief for Rapid City and is chairman for the Senate Judiciary Committee.

His legislation, SB 97, calls for the convictions to remain available to law enforcement searches.

The bill is assigned to his committee. A hearing date hasn't been set yet.

His lead House sponsor is Rep. Mathew Wollmann, R-Madison.

The impetus for the proposed change is to reduce the workload for governors and the state Board of Pardons and Paroles.

People often seek removal of convictions from their records for employment purposes.

Class 2 misdemeanors are punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500. Class 1 misdemeanors carry maximum punishments of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

IDENTITY THEFT: Rep. Steven Haugaard, R-Sioux Falls, wants to create a lesser penalty for criminals' use of stolen credit cards.

Haugaard proposes making the crime a Class 1 misdemeanor when the amount involved in the theft is $1,000 or less.

HB 1166 hasn't been assigned for a committee hearing yet. The lead Senate sponsor is Sen. Ried Holien, R-Watertown.

Currently the crime is a Class 6 felony regardless of the amount involved. Maximum punishments for a Class 6 felony are two years in state prison and a $4,000 fine.

PENALTY-FREE: A bipartisan group of legislators in both chambers wants to repeal the sanctions that were added to state law last year for people who owe money to state government and won't pay the debts.

The Legislature approved the penalties in 2015 as part of authorizing state government to operate an obligation recovery center. The office is still being established.

The penalties, intended to make people more likely to pay their debts, included permission for state departments to refuse to provide vehicle registrations, driver licenses, state park and camping permits, and hunting and fishing licenses.

Those sanctions would be lifted if SB 123 becomes law. The prime sponsor is Sen. Troy Heinert, D-Mission. He has seven Republicans and five Democrats as Senate co-sponsors.

In the House, the lead sponsor is Rep. Kevin Killer, D-Pine Ridge. There are three Democrats and four Republicans in the House who are co-sponsors, including House Republican leader Brian Gosch of Rapid City.

The measure awaits a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. A date hasn't been set yet.

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