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House panel tables expansion for historic vehicle eligibility

PIERRE -- The House Transportation Committee tabled legislation Thursday that would have expanded eligibility for historic license plates on motor vehicles in South Dakota.

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South Dakota's Capitol as pictured in this file photo. (Daily Republic file photo)

PIERRE - The House Transportation Committee tabled legislation Thursday that would have expanded eligibility for historic license plates on motor vehicles in South Dakota.

The legislation intended to add non-commercial trucks and vans weighing less than 8,000 pounds and historic fire trucks. But the committee's decision wasn't about the content.

Instead, it was to avoid duplication.

Rep. Oren Lesmeister, D-Parade, thought the measure would have duplicated a change the committee made to another bill Jan. 25.

He might have been right.

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That day, the panel had amended HB 1117 from Rep. Larry Zikmund, R-Sioux Falls, so it would cover the same kinds of vehicles.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed Zikmund's bill Feb. 14.

There was deja vu Wednesday as Rep. Dan Kaiser, R-Aberdeen, presented SB 72. He was lead House sponsor. Prime sponsor was Sen. Al Novstrup, R-Aberdeen.

"I think we've already done this, have we not?" Lesmeister asked Kaiser.

Rep. Mary Duvall, R-Pierre, answered from the chairwoman's seat.

"That was actually done by design, so they wouldn't conflict with each other," Duvall said.

Her reply brought a second question. "Do we need this?" Lesmeister asked. "Maybe LRC staff could clarify that."

Dave Ortbahn, the Legislative Research Council chief analyst for research and legal services, started looking.

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Meanwhile Lesmeister went to the witness table where Kaiser sat and they looked together through some documents.

Duvall asked what was found. Kaiser said the bill should be tabled.

After the meeting Lesmeister stopped to talk. He brought a thumb and index finger within an inch of each other.

"My memory's about this long," he said, "but it's good when it works."

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