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Appropriations members are month ahead of 2015

PIERRE--Many members of the Legislature wanted their budget panel to do its work at a much faster pace this session. Republicans Sen. Deb Peters, of Hartford, and Rep. Justin Cronin, of Gettysburg, are the co-chairmen for the Joint Committee on A...

PIERRE-Many members of the Legislature wanted their budget panel to do its work at a much faster pace this session.

Republicans Sen. Deb Peters, of Hartford, and Rep. Justin Cronin, of Gettysburg, are the co-chairmen for the Joint Committee on Appropriations. They and the 16 other appropriators are fulfilling that goal.

Peters said Thursday the committee would be done with its hearing schedule for state departments, agencies and constitutional offices on Feb. 5.

That is working day 16 of the 38-day session.

Last year, the committee finished its hearing schedule on March 5. That was day 32 of the 39-day session.

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Peters said the committee will start deliberations the following week. She invited legislators to offer their thoughts.

"Any help from the members would be helpful. The sooner, the better," she said.

BIGGER TAX NET: The Legislature's leadership from both political parties put its name on a revenue bill intended to end in a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The measure, SB 106, is already scheduled for a hearing Wednesday by the Senate State Affairs Committee.

It attempts to levy state sales tax on goods and services from remote sellers that are delivered in South Dakota.

Peters, the prime sponsor, said the amount of revenue initially could be $20 million to $60 million per year.

But no one can know until the legislation becomes law and someone challenges it in federal court, she said.

Peters is one of the South Dakota legislators who have been very active on the remote-seller issue. She said several states might be going forward with their versions of the same concept.

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South Dakota's legislation wouldn't try to collect retroactively from companies, according to Peters.

The co-sponsors list includes Republican Sens. Corey Brown, of Gettysburg; Gary Cammack, of Union Center; Larry Tidemann, of Brookings; and Jim White, of Huron; and Democratic Sens. Billie Sutton, of Burke; and Troy Heinert, of Mission.

The House lead sponsor is Rep. Roger Hunt, R-Brandon. The other House co-sponsors are Republicans Cronin; Brian Gosch, of Rapid City; G. Mark Mickelson, of Sioux Falls; Steve Westra, of Sioux Falls; and Dean Wink, of Howes; and Democrats Julie Bartling, of Gregory; and Spencer Hawley, of Brookings.

HERE THEY COME: Thursday was the deadline for unlimited filing of legislation. The Senate now has 123. The House has 175.

"We're starting to get quite a few House bills here," Wink, the House speaker, told the representatives during the first readings of the latest ones Thursday afternoon.

BIG SHOTS: State Attorney General Marty Jackley hosted the annual target shooting competition for legislators and staff Wednesday night at the law enforcement training center. Last year, Rep. Mathew Wollmann, R-Madison, won.

But Wink bought a 9-mm STI target model with a 6-inch barrel and used that instead of the short-barreled .45 he had last year He won a shoot-off with Wollmann, who placed second, and Rep. Isaac Latterell, R-Sioux Falls, who finished third.

Wollmann told House members Thursday he's never seen Wink so focused and engaged as during the competition.

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Rep. Karen Soli, D-Sioux Falls, who is a minister, placed fourth, as she won a shoot-off. She clenched her fists in the air like a champion boxer when Wink reported her achievement.

Wink had a list of top scorers. "Any of those 12 could have won," he said.

They raised $528 for the CASA organization and $585 for Rep. Dan Kaiser, R-Aberdeen, who's been unable to attend legislative session because of a child's illness.

GOODBYE FOR NOW: Legislators began a four-day weekend Thursday afternoon.

The House began work shortly after 1 p.m. and the 67 representatives present agreed at 1:34 p.m. to defer their debate calendar until Tuesday. The Senate started at 1:30 and had 32 members present when they deferred their debate calendar until Tuesday and adjourned at 1:55 p.m.

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