The South Dakota Legislature concluded its sixth week of session Thursday. We are finally starting to get caught up with our heavy workload. 2018 has been one of the busiest sessions in recent history with over 500 bills that have been submitted for consideration. This is among the largest number of bills submitted in over a decade.
•HB 1109 would allow inmates who are over the age of 55, have not committed a crime in the first degree, have served ten consecutive years of their sentence, and have a serious medical condition that requires heavy medical supervision to be paroled provided they have a plan for medical care. HB 1109 passed the House Judiciary Committee 10-1 and passed the House Floor 48-17.
•HB 1250 would have raised the legal smoking age in South Dakota from 18 to 21. HB 1250 passed House Health and Human Services 8-4 but died on the House Floor 21-45.
•HB 1268 would change the prefiling date for legislation and would allow legislators to pre-file legislation as early as July. HB 1268 passed House State Affairs 11-1 and passed the House Floor 66-0.
•HB 1199 prohibits collective bargaining by employees of the Board of Regents. HB 1199 passed House State Affairs 8-5 and passed the House Floor 37-28.
•HB 1184 allows for waste disposal lines to be laid along or underneath highways. HB 1184 passed the House Transportation Committee 7-6 and passed the House Floor 45-20.
•HB 1216 would prohibit citizens or entities not from South Dakota or registered with the Secretary of state 4 years prior to the election from donating more than one hundred thousand dollars in the aggregate. HB 1216 passed the House State Affairs Committee 7-6 and passed the House Floor after being reconsidered 36-30.
•HB 1230 would make texting and driving a primary offense. HB 1230 passed the House Judiciary Committee 11-2 and passed the House Floor after being reconsidered 40-26.
•HB 1305 would have allowed Independents to vote in party primaries. However, the bill would have also required the voter to indicate in which primary they would like to vote. HB 1305 passed House State Affairs 10-2 but died on the House Floor 29-37.
•SB 214 would create an independent commission to set legislator pay. The commission would be set by the executive board and require that no more than 6 members of the same party comprise the board. The commission would examine salaries in other state legislatures and consider a number of factors to determine the appropriate compensation and give this report to LRC each January. SB 214 passed the Senate Committee on Appropriations unanimously and will be heard on the Senate floor next week.
•SB 185 allows for the expungement of criminal charges if an individual avoids going to trail by agreeing to a diversion program. In order to qualify, the individual must finish the diversion program and remain drug free for one year following release from the program. SB 185 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Floor with zero no votes.
•SB 65 changes the criminal penalties regarding drug deliveries. If an individual dies from an illegal substance, whoever sold the substance to the victim is subject to the principle offense being 2 classes higher not exceeding a Class C Felony. SB 65 passed Senate Judiciary 6-0 and passed the Senate Floor 32-3.
•SJR 3 To apply for a convention of states under Article V of the Constitution of the United States to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government and limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government. SJR 3 passed Senate State Affairs 7-2 but died on the Senate Floor 16-18.
•SB 24 extended the effective date of provisions regarding the recreational use of non-meandered water. SB 24 passed Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources 7-2 and passed the Senate Floor 26-9.
If you have any questions and/or comments on these bills or any other legislation, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org