ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Medicaid, nursing homes, meth abuse on lawmakers' study list

PIERRE (AP) -- State lawmakers will study South Dakota's payment formula for Medicaid providers, the regulation of the number of nursing home beds in the state and youth methamphetamine abuse ahead of the 2017 session, the Legislature's Executive...

PIERRE (AP) - State lawmakers will study South Dakota's payment formula for Medicaid providers, the regulation of the number of nursing home beds in the state and youth methamphetamine abuse ahead of the 2017 session, the Legislature's Executive Board voted Monday.

The board selected the three most popular topics that legislators put forward. The studies frequently develop into concrete legislation, such as the major road and bridge funding hike lawmakers passed in 2015 that came out of a summer study group on highway needs.

This year, the study on the prevention of youth methamphetamine abuse is expected to focus on the age that children are exposed to the drug, the factors that often lead to early exposure and effective prevention efforts.

"What's amazing about meth is that it has no boundaries," said Republican Sen. Gary Cammack, who leads the board. "It's as likely to happen in a rural area as it is in an urban area, and it's absolutely devastating from the first time that they try it, so it's bad stuff."

Legislators are also set to examine the benefits and negative effects of regulating the number of assisted living and nursing home beds in the state.

ADVERTISEMENT

Assessing the current compensation to Medicaid providers is meant to help determine if payments are adequate to ensure the state continues to have people offering services, said GOP Rep. Jean Hunhoff, one of the lawmakers who requested that study. Officials need to figure out what other states are doing to make sure that South Dakota remains competitive with its neighbors, Hunhoff said.

"I'm just concerned that we're not going to have providers in the future to care for our Medicaid population, as well as elderly individuals," she said.

The board voted unanimously to advance the proposed studies.

Lawmakers had put forward other topics ranging from the functions and funding of townships to the treatment of domestic and agricultural animals. Senate Democratic leader Billie Sutton proposed a study to determine the practicality of repealing the sales tax on food.

"The working poor pay more of their income than they should," said Sutton, who said it's disappointing the study didn't get approval to move forward.

The board on Monday also directed the state Legislative Research Council to prepare information about legislator compensation in other states.

What To Read Next
Discussion will take place during the 6 p.m. meeting on Monday at City Hall
Lawmakers have said it is likely only one is affordable at this time without cutting programs or adding other taxes or revenue streams
Members Only
Although Mitchell's rates would be increase, the proposed equitable rate structure could lessen the increased costs for residential customers' water and sewer bills.
“We see that when things happen in the coastal areas, a few years later, they start trending toward the Midwest,” said Rep. Ben Krohmer, serving his first term in the House.