PIERRE—The Legislature is honoring 12 men who retired from the South Dakota Highway Patrol in the past few years. The Senate gave its automatic approval to the 12 commemorations Wednesday. The House of Representatives gets them next. They cover retirements from 2015, 2016 and January 2017. The dozen are: John Koenig, a sergeant last stationed at Chamberlain who served 30 years; Matthew Petersen, a trooper last stationed at Parkston who served nearly 11 years; Mike Thomas, a trooper last stationed at Deadwood who served more than 23 years;
PIERRE — One result of the Legislature's 2007 sex scandal is that legislative pages have worn standard blue and yellow dress shirts for the past decade. It is the same reason Sen. Stace Nelson now wants a rule that bans sex between legislators and legislative employees. There is a rule that prohibits sexual harassment. But revelations in the past few weeks, about what's been labeled as consensual sex, evidently fall outside that rule. The results so far are these:
PIERRE – A majority of South Dakota senators favor more flexibility in teaching science in public schools. Senate Bill 55 received support from the Senate Wednesday by a vote of 23-13 in favor. Sen. Jeff Monroe, R-Pierre, is the prime sponsor of SB 55, which would “protect the teaching of certain scientific information.” Monroe said he’s received information that state standards are “one-directional” in favor of a theory.
PIERRE – State senators voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for stronger monitoring of prescription drugs in South Dakota. They unanimously required that pharmacists participate in a digital monitoring system and decided 34-1 the state Board of Pharmacy must submit annual reports to the Legislature through 2022. The measures came from a task force that met during the interim. They now go to the House of Representatives for further action.
PIERRE — South Dakota senators gave final legislative approval Tuesday to expanding the public notice period to 72 hours for meetings of state boards and commissions. The legislation passed 35-0 on the Senate’s consent calendar without debate. The measure, HB 1006, now goes to Gov. Dennis Daugaard for his decision whether to sign it into law.
PIERRE — State senators voted 27-8 Tuesday to change the effective date to July 1 for initiated measures, referrals and constitutional amendments after South Dakota voters pass them. They currently become effective shortly after the general election in November. Sen. Jim White, R-Huron, sponsored the legislation. He said it would make ballot measures similar to legislation that normally takes effect July 1.
PIERRE – Setting aside partisanship, state senators voted unanimously Monday asking President Donald Trump to visit South Dakota. Sen. Jim Bolin said it’s his belief that the new Republican president hasn’t been to South Dakota. Bolin, R-Canton, suggested Trump should visit the Mount Rushmore or Crazy Horse sites. “Or hopefully both,” Bolin said.
PIERRE — We're trying to follow a harsh new rule in our house this Christmas. No purchases over the internet, at least not if the company doesn't collect South Dakota sales taxes. This would seem to violate a rule of nature. No one in my circle goes looking for more taxes to pay. But it's not fair to South Dakota businesses that they're typically at a 4.5 percent disadvantage against internet competitors when state sales tax is added. The disadvantage worsens when municipal sales taxes are added.
PIERRE — The Anti-Corruption Act approved by a majority of South Dakota voters last month is constitutional and doesn't hamper the existing employment arrangements of legislators or their family members, according to the state attorney general's office. A group of more than 12 legislators and some spouses, led by Senate Republican leader Blake Curd of Sioux Falls, want state Circuit Judge Mark Barnett to stop parts or all of Initiated Measure 22 from taking effect.
PIERRE — Trustees for the South Dakota Retirement System endorsed possible changes Wednesday to help keep it solvent. The proposed changes also would close routes for employees can currently use to take unfair advantage and would add a punishment for employers found falsely reporting compensation. Next comes asking the Legislature for approval during the 2017 session that opens Jan. 10. SDRS executive director Rob Wylie said the key point is benefits will be adjusted any year the system wasn't fully funded.