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Lawmakers block proposed rules on international doctors, elections

PIERRE -- The Legislature's Rules Review Committee didn't allow several sets of rule changes to move forward Monday. The six lawmakers blocked a state Health Department proposal affecting international medical graduates who come to South Dakota u...

PIERRE - The Legislature's Rules Review Committee didn't allow several sets of rule changes to move forward Monday.

The six lawmakers blocked a state Health Department proposal affecting international medical graduates who come to South Dakota using J-1 visas. Legislators said they didn't like that a discount schedule for Medicaid patients would be removed.

Sen. Craig Kennedy, D-Yankton, and Rep. Julie Bartling, D-Gregory, led the 6-0 effort.

"All we're sending back is the proposed amendments," Kennedy said.

The panel also wants the state Board of Elections to try again at developing a form for signature gatherers to prove they're South Dakota residents. After some maneuvering, lawmakers agreed to block a proposed rule prohibiting the co-mingling of signatures for different ballot measures.

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They voted unanimously to send both back to the elections board.

Kennedy said he didn't want voters disenfranchised by a rule intended to help the secretary of state's office be faster checking signatures.

Rep. Jean Hunhoff, R-Yankton, initially supported the co-mingling ban.

"I'm caught in a mix here," Hunhoff said. "There needs to be some accountability."

Sen. Alan Solano, R-Rapid City, offered a substitute that would have stopped only the proof of residency form. But it deadlocked 3-3.

Kennedy said he partially agreed with Solano's motion. "I just don't think it goes far enough," Kennedy said.

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