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Lawmakers to take up bills on lobbying, guns at the Capitol

PIERRE (AP) -- South Dakota lawmakers are set to consider measures on abortion, lobbying restrictions and allowing concealed pistols in the Capitol this week. Here's a look at some of the proposals they plan to take up:...

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The South Dakota State Capitol served as the site for a rally urging lawmakers not to repeal Initiated Measure 22, a government ethics initiative. (Daily Republic file photo)

PIERRE (AP) - South Dakota lawmakers are set to consider measures on abortion, lobbying restrictions and allowing concealed pistols in the Capitol this week. Here's a look at some of the proposals they plan to take up:

ETHICS BILLS

A Senate panel is set to consider a bill Monday that would bar some officials from private lobbying for two years after leaving government, while a House committee that day is to discuss a measure to impose an annual $100 limit on lobbyist gifts to some public officials.

The bills are among a raft of measures that could replace pieces of a voter-approved government ethics overhaul that Republican lawmakers recently dismantled.

CAPITOL CARRY

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A bill that would allow people to carry concealed pistols in the state Capitol if they have an enhanced carry permit is set to be considered on Monday in a House committee. An enhanced permit has additional requirements including completing a training course.

"I am not worried at all about anybody that has an enhanced carry permit. That is not the problem," said House Majority Leader Lee Qualm, the bill's main sponsor.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard said he wants to hear about both sides of the issue.

TEACHING SCIENCE

A bill that that says teachers can't be prohibited from discussing the strengths and weaknesses of scientific information on issues such as climate change and evolution is set to be heard Monday in a House committee. Republican Sen. Jeff Monroe, the bill's prime sponsor, has said he's heard from concerned teachers including one who was forced to teach climate change as a fact.

But, some parents and educators are concerned that it could bring nonscientific theories into science classes. The bill has already passed through the Senate.

ABORTION BILL

South Dakota lawmakers are revisiting a law approved last year that prohibits most abortions beyond 19 weeks of pregnancy. A bill set to be heard Monday by a House committee would increase the penalty for performing an abortion that violates the new threshold to a felony, up from a misdemeanor. A woman who gets such an abortion would not be subject to that consequence.

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DE-TAX FOOD

A House panel on Tuesday is set to take up a Democrat-backed bill that would bump up the state's 4.5 percent sales tax rate to eliminate the tax on food for home consumption. Long a popular idea among Democratic lawmakers, such bills have failed in the past.

Related Topics: SCIENCEEDUCATIONABORTION
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