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House approves bill that allows tapping of mobile devices

A bill that clears the way for law enforcement to tap mobile devices cleared the House Wednesday afternoon. Rep. Tim Reed, R-Brookings, said the measure only updates the types of technology mentioned in a law first passed in 1969 and last updated...

2273896+SD state capitol3.jpg
South Dakota State Capitol

A bill that clears the way for law enforcement to tap mobile devices cleared the House Wednesday afternoon.

Rep. Tim Reed, R-Brookings, said the measure only updates the types of technology mentioned in a law first passed in 1969 and last updated in 1988. It does not, he said, affect the threshold needed to tap into those conversations.

Wireless devices are clearly the preferred form of communication nowadays, said Reed, who mentioned the state’s ongoing problems with methamphetamine and that several law agency groups and officials back the proposal.

Nobody else spoke about House Bill 1028, which passed 65-1, with only Rep. Tom Pischke, R-Dell Rapids, voting no. It now moves to the Senate for consideration.

A bill that updates the state’s list of controlled substances was also approved by the House Wednesday.

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Phenethylpiperidin and a drug commonly called U-47700 would be added to Schedule IV, a list of the most addictive drugs that have no medical uses in the state.

Thiafentanil would be added to Schedule II. Brivaracetam would be added to Schedule I.

Rep. Tim Rounds, R-Pierre, said the bill contains an emergency clause because some of the synthetic drugs it covers are already on the streets.

Rep. Spencer Gosch, R-Glenham, and Rep. Susan Wismer, D-Britton, both raised concerns, fearing that the substances could overlap with those used agriculture producers in their operations.

But Rep. Jean Hunhoff, R-Yankton, noted that the drugs are narcotics. And Rep. Steven Haugaard, R-Sioux Falls, added that the there is no overlap, and that the bill is aimed at preventing abuse and bolstering prosecution.

Ultimately, both Gosch and Wismer voted for the House Bill 1041. It passed 65-1, with the only no vote cast by Rep. Dan Kaiser, R-Aberdeen, a police officer.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

During a Tuesday committee hearing, Joan Adam with the state Department of Health, said drug schedule laws have to be updated yearly to remain in accordance with federal statutes and ensure that recreational drugs devised by “underground chemists” are included.

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