The 2013 Legislative Session passed the halfway point last week. The Main Run of session will end March 8, followed by a two week break before Veto Day on March 25.
SB70. On Wednesday, Governor Daugaard signed SB70, the Public Safety Improvement Act, in a special ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda.
To recap some of the bills covered last week:
SB115, which increases the commercial fertilizer inspection fee paid by distributors to help fund research at SDSU, passed the Senate 30-5 and has been referred to House Ag Committee.
HB1156, to put the Game, Fish & Parks Commission in charge of setting waterfowl licenses, was defeated on the House Floor on a vote of 30-38.
HB1126, the bill to repeal the Board of Massage Therapy was amended to continue the board and to require the board to issue licenses to those meeting the criteria set in statute. This passed the House 41-28 and has been referred to Senate Health committee.
HB1123, to increase the hunting license fee by one dollar to help pay for additional animal damage control, passed the House 55-13 and has been referred to Senate Ag Committee.
HB1135. One of the current bills generating a great deal of e-mail from fishermen is HB1135, dealing with flooded private land. The bill would allow those who own flooded land to post their land against trespass; however, sportsmen groups are concerned this will cause a halt to all fishing in northeastern South Dakota. The bill was amended in committee to clarify that it does not apply to meandered lakes. It passed House Ag Committee on Thursday on a 12-1 vote.
Taxes. House Tax committee defeated a bill to remove the sales tax on food and increase the tax on all other items. The committee also defeated a proposal to increase the state’s sales and use tax from four to five percent.
Federal Issues. Congresswoman Kristi Noem spoke to both the House and Senate on Thursday. She said that we do not need to re-define our founding principles, we need to re-apply them. In discussing the federal budget deficit, she noted that two-thirds of federal spending is on “auto-pilot.” It is based on formulas set in statute, and not subject to the discretion of Congress.
Complete committee information, as well as contact information for the three District 24 legislators may be found on the Legislative Research Council website at: http://legis.state.sd.us
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