PIERRE — South Dakota makes prostitution a misdemeanor crime when people engage in selling sex at age 16. A state lawmaker from Pennington County wants 18 as the minimum. Rep. Lynne DiSanto, R-Rapid City, is prime sponsor of HB 1138. It was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. The panel hasn't yet publicly scheduled its hearing. Lead Senate sponsor is Stace Nelson, R-Fulton. The bill comes amid more emphasis during the past decade against human trafficking in South Dakota. A Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
PIERRE — South Dakota's laws regarding license plates for motor vehicles need to get on the same track as the practices already in use, some members of the Legislature recommended Tuesday. The House Transportation Committee voted 10-0 to endorse HB 1066. It's scheduled for debate Thursday afternoon in the House of Representatives. The bill provides "the proper authority" for the state Department of Revenue and county treasurers to issue license plates under "the current standard policy," Lisa Weyer said. She is director for the state Division of Motor Vehicles.
PIERRE — South Dakota voters who aren't registered with any political party would be allowed to sign their names at the start of the process and help nominate candidates for political parties, under a change approved Tuesday by the state Senate. The vote was 24-10 as Republicans split. SB 79 now moves to the House of Representatives for the next round of consideration. Prime sponsor is Sen. Ernie Otten, R-Tea. A mix of six Democrats and 18 Republicans passed it, while 10 Republicans cast nays.
PIERRE — The state Department of Tourism should be allowed to contract for advertising displays in welcome centers on South Dakota's two interstate highways, the state Senate decided Tuesday. Senators voted 33-1 to send SB 59 across the Capitol to the House of Representatives for the next round of deliberations. The measure carries support from Gov. Dennis Daugaard. Sen. Jason Frerichs, D-Wilmot, did much of the talking Tuesday in favor of giving authority to the department to pursue sponsors.
PIERRE — A state lawmaker from Brown County is carrying legislation that would affect pre-abortion counseling by abortion providers. Sen. Al Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, is prime sponsor of SB 110. This is a version of the concept South Dakota Right to Life has been preparing. The measure was assigned Monday to the Senate State Affairs Committee. The panel hasn't publicly scheduled a hearing date yet. The legislation specifically refers to Planned Parenthood's facility in Sioux Falls as the only abortion clinic in South Dakota.
PIERRE — A legislative panel cracked open the door Tuesday for more home-school students to get state-funded scholarships to go to college or tech school in South Dakota. Members of the Senate Education Committee voted 5-2 to endorse setting the minimum score at 24 on the ACT for all students. State law currently requires home-school students to score at least 28. The minimum for public and private high-school students is 24.
PIERRE — A majority of members in the South Dakota Senate stood with the governor Monday and confirmed three appointees to state Department of Education posts. Senators voted 26-7 for Don Kirkegaard as secretary of education. He was Meade School District superintendent. On Jan. 2 he replaced Melody Schopp as secretary. The Senate voted 31-2 for Becky Guffin to replace Kirkegaard on the state Board of Education Standards. The Aberdeen public schools superintendent takes Kirkegaard's seat for the one year left on his term.
PIERRE — Wanda Goodman faced questions from state lawmakers Monday about why some rest areas have been closed along South Dakota's interstate highways. The exchanges came during the Senate Transportation Committee hearing on SB 59. It would allow the state Department of Tourism to charge for advertising inside traveler welcome centers along Interstate 90 and Interstate 29. Goodman is deputy secretary of tourism for Gov. Dennis Daugaard. The committee voted 7-0 to recommend its Senate passage.
PIERRE — A panel of state lawmakers recommended Monday that deceased enrolled members of tribes in South Dakota shouldn't be taken from graves and reburied without the state agency notifying tribal chairpersons. SB 88 also would add tribal chairpersons to the list who can request a circuit judge stop a disinterment. County commissions and cemetery boards currently can ask. A state permit is needed to exhume a body that's already been buried and move it to another location.
PIERRE — A state lawmaker wants to make intentionally exposing another human being to hepatitis C infection a felony crime in South Dakota. He also wants to increase the criminal penalty for intentionally exposing another person to venereal diseases. Sen. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton, proposed the changes.