PIERRE — Township boards could use their current additional taxing capacity to pay emergency medical costs, while school boards could provide housing for certified teachers without paying property taxes, under measures that received final approval Monday by the South Dakota Senate. The legislation heads next to Gov. Dennis Daugaard for review and possibly his approvals. The Senate voted 34-1 for the townships bill, which Sen. Kris Langer, R-Dell Rapids, emphasized was "permissive language."
PIERRE — An attempt failed Monday to give subpoena power to every committee of the Legislature created by a state law. Rep. Dan Kaiser, R-Aberdeen, proposed the change. It came after legislative auditors determined approximately $1.4 million couldn't be tracked from the bank account for Mid-Central Educational Cooperative in Platte. The money flowed from the U.S. Department of Education to the South Dakota Department of Education to Mid-Central. Mid-Central in turn gave several non-profit organizations access to its bank account.
PIERRE — Opponents said Monday too many older students could enroll in kindergarten if the Legislature approved changes Rep. Dan Kaiser suggested. The House Education Committee agreed, voting 9-3 to kill it. Kaiser, R-Aberdeen, said parents would have still been able to send their children to school at age 5. But a second piece of HB 1256 would have required a student couldn't be age 9 when starting kindergarten. Currently state law says a student can't be age 7.
PIERRE — A state lawmaker wanted the Legislature to require public schools to provide instruction on South Dakota's Indian history, culture and government. But the House Education Committee rejected the idea Monday after a state Department of Education official spoke against it. The panel voted 8-4 to kill HB 1253. Deputy Secretary Mary Stadick Smith reminded the panel of the fable where the tortoise beat the hare. She asked the panel to let the department go forward "slowly but surely."
PIERRE — This legislative session has a different feel. Republican 'outsiders' are moving into power. Some of their themes: Even-tighter spending by state government, less government regulation and more transparency. You can see it easiest in the Senate. Republicans won 29 seats in the 2016 elections. Democrats took six. The Republican imbalance also produced factions.
PIERRE — A legislative resolution calling for "thoughtful taxation" of alcohol products in South Dakota ran into stiff opposition Thursday from some state lawmakers. The House Health and Human Services Committee voted 8-3 against adopting it. HCR 1007 called "for alcohol to become budget neutral rather than a drain on the resources and the economy of South Dakota." The resolution came from the South Dakota Alcohol Policy Alliance.
PIERRE — On Thursday afternoon, before the snow coming down got worse, South Dakota lawmakers hurried from the Capitol for another three-day break. The 2018 session was half done and there still wasn't agreement on non-meandered waters. If anything, the issue many thought was fixed in the one-day special session eight months ago now appears to be more divided. That's because the laws passed last June 12 are set to expire this June 30. The Legislature has 18 working days left in the regular session to make those laws last longer.
PIERRE — On Thursday afternoon, before the snow coming down got worse, South Dakota lawmakers hurried from the Capitol for another three-day break. The 2018 session was half done and there still wasn’t agreement on non-meandered waters. If anything, the issue many thought was fixed in the one-day special session eight months ago now appears to be more divided. That’s because the laws passed last June 12 are set to expire this June 30.
PIERRE — Pharmacy benefits managers couldn't prohibit or penalize pharmacists who talk to customers about prescription drug prices, under a proposal that's now one step from final approval by the South Dakota Legislature. The House Health and Human Services Committee voted 11-0 for the ban Thursday. SB 141 goes to the House of Representatives for a possible final decision Monday afternoon. The Senate on Feb. 5 voted 34-0 for it. If the House agrees, the measure heads to the desk of Gov. Dennis Daugaard for review and possibly his signature.
PIERRE — Arguing that electric motor and electric-hybrid vehicles wear out streets and roads too, a panel of state lawmakers decided Thursday that new fees should be paid for those vehicles, too. The House Transportation Committee voted 8-3 for legislation offered by its chairwoman, Rep. Mary Duvall, R-Pierre. She wants state government to charge $100 apiece for electrics and $50 each for hybrids.