I’m finally getting caught up at work so I had a chance to look at the 45 bills SD Governor Dennis Daugaard signed into law on March 14. Below is a list of the bills signed into law and any thoughts I have about them.
There is a mix of good and bad bills here. None of these are overly-horrendous from my point of view, so that is something…
HB 1013 – An Act to authorize the South Dakota Building Authority to finance the construction of improvement in the state park system for the Department of Game, Fish and Parks and to declare an emergency.
I really don’t like this one. I will admit I use State Parks and know they are well utilized in this state. But was $2 million for a new visitor center and associated interpretive displays at Good Earth State Park at Blood Run really a top priority? Plus another million for a visitor center at Custer State Park? Personally I can think of many areas of state appropriations that were denied that would have been better places to put $3,000,000.
HB 1022 – An Act to authorize the Board of Regents to purchase improved property in Spearfish and to make an appropriation therefor.
I don’t really have any thoughts on this one. It allows the Board of Regents to buy a tract of land for Black Hills State University.
HB 1034 – An Act to revise certain provisions relating to dam maintenance and repair funding and to declare an emergency.
This one I really like. Back during the days of ‘public works projects’ there were many dam’s created around the country, and the State of South Dakota, for no actual reason other than to ‘create jobs’. There were many unintended consequences of this bad fiscal policy. One of those consequences is there are many dams in South Dakota that have had little or no maintenance. I live in Aberdeen, which happens to have a dam with repair issues pointed right at the city. That is Richmond Lake Dam and it has a leak that is getting worse year after year. Hopefully this bill will give enough flexibility with funds to actually repair and maintain these dams going forward.
HB 1038 – An Act to authorize the Department of Public Safety to build a highway patrol office and motorcycle training facility in Rapid City, to make an appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency.
The total for this facility at $1.7 million came out as a lower appropriation than a visitor center at Good Earth. Not sure this should have been an appropriations priority though…
HB 1071 – An Act to change the procedure for a minor boundary change.
This bill seems to prevent developers from trying to change the school district property falls within. I really don’t like this bill. The change seems small, but appearances can be deceiving. The valuation changes for land that is to be developed seems quite arbitrary. There may be changes needed, but this one seemed like a bad answer. Unfortunately this one passed with little opposition.
HB 1106 – An Act to repeal certain outdated and obsolete provisions regarding the sale of petroleum products.
A cleanup bill removing obsolete code. The kind of bill I like to see.
HB 1132 – An Act to make a minor’s school calendar the reference point from which to permit employment that would not interfere with the minor’s education.
This was a great change to antiquated child labor law. This bill allows a student 16 and under spread out work throughout the week, instead of pushing to get all of their hours on the weekend. This bill in particular will help minors that attend private school or are homeschooled. Under the current law a minor 16 and under is still limited to 20 hours per week, but they now have more flexibility on weekdays.
HB 1133 – An Act to repeal or revise certain provisions concerning townships.
This one seems good. It cleans up and clarifies a bunch of old code about townships.
HB 1134 – An Act to clarify certain municipal powers.
This clarification seems harmless, but it also appears unnecessary…
HB 1150 – An Act to require that the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States be recited at the start of each school day in every public school classroom.
A bill I don’t really care about. Of all the problems in public education I don’t see this as a solution to any of them. Its harmless, but also hollow…
HB 1159 – An Act to revise the documentation requirements for designation as a veteran on driver licenses, permits, and nondriver identification cards.
An OK bill, this made it a bit easier for veterans to get their proper designation on driver licenses.
HB 1161 – An Act to establish a cause of action for wrongful human trafficking.
With all the spotlight on human trafficking this year it is not surprising this passed. This seems a good change allowing victims to bring a cause of action in court after being a human trafficking victim.
HB 1180 – An Act to provide that no entity that places children for adoption or performs abortions may be registered as a pregnancy help center.
This one didn’t really do anything, since it sounds like no companies in SD apply to this change. But it could be seen as a win for RTL. This one passed both chambers pretty much along party lines.
HB 1185 – An Act to revise certain provisions to nonresident waterfowl licenses.
This is a bill that had a lot of opposition from sportsmen that thought the waterfowl in South Dakota would be decimated by out-of-state shirt-tale relatives. In reality it would have allowed very specific relatives to gain a special license. It was amended to a point it instead gave more power to GFP to create special out-of-state licenses. The bill was good as it originally was written, but the new version isn’t really bad either. It was a huge issue over nothing….
HB 1192 – An Act to designate the Black Hills Mining Museum in Lead as the official mining museum of South Dakota.
This made the Black Hills Mining Museum and ‘official’ SD museum. It was amended to make sure no taxpayer money went with this designation. Yet I feel this was a bad move. Now that this is ‘officially’ a SD museum it won’t be hard for future legislators to decide this is a good place to throw money. This law is silly at best, and at worse a potential target for pork spending in the future.
HB 1201 – An Act to revise the bank franchise tax apportionment of income provisions.
This was a grasp for more tax revenue by the Governor’s office. The Governors office figures by changing how the bank franchise tax works they could make about 6 million dollars. Of course they didn’t mention it would likely hurt small banks. But hey, its OK for a Republican majority to raise taxes when the average person doesn’t understand what that tax actually is. Right?
HB 1212 – An Act to provide for fair and open competition in certain governmental contracts, to prohibit the inclusion of certain terms in governmental contracts and documents, and to establish a procedure to grant certain exemptions after notice and a public hearing.
This one basically makes sure that union contractors don’t get an unfair advantage over non-union contractors going for government jobs. Nothing nefarious here. It was however voted straight along party lines.
HB 1120 – An Act to provide for alternative documentation of financial responsibility for vehicles.
This is an attempt to get codified law caught up with technology. You can now use a phone app to prove car insurance instead of finding the current document in your glove box.
HB 1229 – An Act to provide for the reporting of certain person’s names to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
This was a bad bill. Here is what Rep Kaiser had to say on his No vote of 1229: “I voted no on HB 1229, an act provide for the reporting of certain person’s name to the national instant criminal background check. This is a master data list kept by the federal government about who can and who can not buy a gun. There is no way to get your name off the list as of today, this is bad policy. This bill passed, 53-17”. I agree with Rep Kaiser. Not to mention it is also the government that decides what groups of people are put on that list…
HB 1184 – An Act to declare the fourth Saturday in July Day of the American Cowboy.
Really? No comment…
SB 2 – An Act to provide for the delayed arrest, under certain circumstances, in regard to certain outstanding warrants for victims of domestic abuse with minor children.
This was a good change to codified law. No sense making a child suffer for actions of a parent. Let the parent make arrangements for the care of the child then do the arrest.
SB 3 – An Act to provide for continuity in the judicial review of certain lawsuits, complaints, and petitions between parties to a petition for certain protection orders.
This one seems OK. If a lawsuit is already happening between two parties where a protection order is issued, then any further actions outside of that case should go to the same judge. That just makes sense, that just would theoretically have more information as to what is going on.
SB 7 – An Act to modify the persons eligible for protection from domestic abuse and to revise certain terminology.
This was a good change to current codified law. It makes sure that college roommates are not charged with domestic violence in case they get in a fight. It also is a move forward in that it allows people in “a significant romantic relationship”. This is the route the LGBT community should be applauding. It slowly allows for same-sex equal protections under the law without the general populace realizing it. It also allows it to be done without getting a huge rise out of the traditionalist conservatives.
SB 9 – An Act to revise provisions related to the Interim Appropriations Committee.
This basically give subpoena power to the committee, something I already thought they could do.
SB 23 – An Act to revise certain provisions relating to deceptive trade practices, including unordered property or services, lodging reservation and cancellation, violation penalties, attorney’s fees, entry rights for landlords and tenants, debit card theft, and organized retail crime.
This one deserves a whole post. Some of the changes are good, but overall there are sections of this code dealing with “deceptive trade practices’ that need to go away due to ambiguity.
SB 25 – An Act to establish the procedure to forfeit personal property in child pornography, human trafficking, child solicitation or exploitation cases, and to direct money from the forfeitures.
I don’t see a problem the changes in this bill. I just find it sad this is even necessary.
SB 27 – An Act to make an appropriation from the coordinated natural resources conservation fund to the State Conservation Commission and to declare an emergency.
I would call this a misappropriation of tax dollars. The money used in this bill comes from unclaimed gas taxes. Is the legislature trying to say the roads in SD are in such great shape that money meant for the roads shouldn’t go there?
SB 31 – An Act to make an appropriation to reimburse certain family physicians who have complied with the requirements of the recruitment assistance program and to declare an emergency.
I don’t like this one. No matter how good the program is, I don’t see why the State needs to give $94,000 to a doctor as an incentive.
SB 32 – An Act to revise previous appropriations for National Guard armory construction, to make an appropriation for a land purchase adjacent to the Watertown armory, and to declare an emergency.
This one looks like scope creep. An addition to the Watertown NG armory is being increased by adding a lot more land and money necessary. Yet again it doesn’t look like SD is prioritizing correctly.
SB 46 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding animal welfare and to provide a felony penalty for cruelty to animals.
I posted about this one previously. I still have mixed feelings about it. I DO feel that true cases of animal cruelty is a felonious offense. But, by making the definition of animal cruelty overly-broad it opens up the law for abuse by certain animal activists. I think a stepped approach towards a felony would have been better with the new definition.
SB 69 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding good cause for voluntarily leaving employment.
Just a minor change that seems to be more of a cleanup of code.
SB 75 – An Act to prohibit local governments from enacting, maintaining, or enforcing regulations on certain dog breeds.
Another bill I’ve posted about previously. I was happy to see this one passed. BSL is bad! Now I don’t have to worry about fighting this in Aberdeen anymore.
SB 77 – An Act to repeal certain outdated and obsolete provisions regarding county prisoners.
Just a cleanup bill.
SB 82 – An Act to revise certain provisions concerning purchases, sales, and contracts made by public officers with the state or its political subdivisions and to revise certain provisions concerning agreements or other transactions of the South Dakota Housing Development Authority.
Another cleanup bill.
SB 84 – An Act to update certain statutes relating to notification of certain transfers.
More cleanup of code.
SB 97 – An Act to revoke professional or trade licensure obtained through false degrees.
A good change. Its one of those things I would have thought was already in law. Technically I would think any government license issued involving deceit would be null and void. I guess this makes it more clear.
SB 102 – An Act to provide that, upon completion of certain proceedings, magistrate judges may return or dispose of property taken in as evidence.
Apparently only circuit court judges were allowed to give property back, now magistrate judges can as well.
SB 113 – An Act to revise the minimum suspension requirements for students participating in extracurricular activities.
I like the changes here. It still makes sure there are repercussions for students in certain circumstances; yet it doesn’t over-punish them and keep them away from extra-curricular activities too long. Keeping kids away from extra-curricular activities too long would remove any incentive from doing activities that potentially keep them out of trouble.
SB 118 – An Act to revise certain criminal penalties for intentional damage to private property.
This one seems to be clarifying current code.
SB 122 – An Act to provide for certain insurance coverage for the treatment of hearing impairments for persons under the age of nineteen.
Yep, our Republican legislature voted to pass an insurance mandate. I agree this is a huge issue, but not one that should be dealt with by mandates. Everyone who voted yes to this is advocating for nanny state insurance mandates.
SB 124 – An Act to revise certain reimbursement provisions relating to legislators-elect and newly appointed legislators.
No problems here. It basically says if a newly elected or appointed legislator begins work (such as on committees) before actually being sworn in they are to be reimbursed expanses as if they were sworn in.
SB 145 – An Act to encourage schools to provide instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
I really like this one! This is a bill that could potentially save lives.
SB 154 – An Act to establish the Jolene’s Law Task Force to study the impact of sexual abuse of children in this state and to make recommendations to the Legislature on policies to effectively address the issue.
I don’t see a problem with this one. It actually looks like a good idea.
SB 163 – An Act to prohibit a social host from permitting the underage consumption of alcoholic beverages on the social host’s premises and to provide penalties therefor.
This law was unnecessary and over-kill due to an over-hyped case from last year.
SB 186 – An Act to revise certain electronic driver license renewal requirements and to authorize electronic upgrades of restricted minor’s permits.
No problem here. It just makes the system easier for those of us that use it.
PS. Yes. This was a LONG post. And yes, I did read every last bill. That is something I wish every legislator could say….