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.
PIERRE — The state House of Representatives is considering a change for South Dakota elections that could turn significant. Rep. Drew Dennert wants lawmakers to let registered independents cast ballots in South Dakota's party primary elections. To do so, an independent would first need to mark a party preference. They also could choose to be neutral. And, between elections, they could change their minds and pick different parties, too. The House State Affairs Committee liked his idea.
PIERRE — The state Senate gave final approval Wednesday for construction projects at Northern State University in Aberdeen and University of South Dakota in Vermillion. The five pieces of legislation now head to Gov. Dennis Daugaard for his review. He is expected to sign them into law. USD wants to spend $26.3 million on the Dakota Dome complex in Vermillion. Senators voted 33-2 for HB 1060. It is South Dakota's only enclosed stadium large enough to host football games.
PIERRE — Mary Anne Boyd, of Yankton, received approval Wednesday from the state Senate for her reappointment to the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Commission. The vote was 35-0 to confirm the governor's decision. "She is a great listener and advocate," Sen. Gary Cammack, R-Union Center, said about Boyd. Senators also consented unanimously to two other choices made by Gov. Dennis Daugaard. They confirmed: • The appointment of Jamie Huizenga, of Pierre, to the South Dakota Lottery Commission; and
PIERRE — Law enforcement officers should be able to stop drivers seen texting while on South Dakota's streets and roads, a panel of the Legislature decided Wednesday. Rep. Spencer Hawley wants the state's texting ban changed to a primary offense so police, deputies, sheriffs and patrol officers can better enforce it. Texting while driving currently is a secondary offense. That means a law enforcement officer has to pull over a motorist for some other reason.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Constitution limits legislators to no more than four consecutive elections to the same chamber. Terms limit produce turnover, and the downside showed itself Tuesday in the state House of Representatives. House members voted 44-24 to repeal a law that called for the state Department of Education to open a charter high school for American Indian students if federal funding became available.
PIERRE — The state House of Representatives wants to require public comment periods at all public meetings of state and local boards and commissions in South Dakota. House members voted 60-8 Tuesday. HB 1172 now goes to the Senate for consideration. The legislation came from Rep. Elizabeth May, R-Kyle. May said she went with a friend who wanted to speak at a school board meeting about a topic that wasn't on the agenda.
PIERRE — County commissions should have authority over whether livestock and dairy producers can run pipelines of animal manure through neighbors' road ditches, and then pump the waste onto fields as fertilizer, a state lawmaker testified Tuesday. Rep. Jason Kettwig, R-Milbank, said HB 1184 would expand South Dakota utilities laws to allow waste disposal pipelines along roadways. The House Transportation Committee agreed, voting 8-5 to recommend its passage.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Senate came to agreement Monday: The life of George Speaker Mickelson should be remembered at the state Capitol, and it should be forever. The senators concurred 34-0 with a resolution the House of Representatives sent, praising South Dakota's only governor to die while in the office. The resolution further calls for a bronze bust resembling Speaker to be placed in the House lobby. From there, people look out the big arched window across Capitol Lake.