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.
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.