Legislative Report Week 1 January 17, 2014

The 2014 legislative session is off and running. As of January 16, 2004 123 bills have been filed so far. House and Senate members are busy working between their desks and LRC.

This year South Dakota will celebrate 125 years of statehood. We have balanced our budget all those years. South Dakota has the 2nd lowest tax burden in the nation and was recently listed as the Best Run State in the nation. Once again we will work to balance the budget without raising taxes, promote an agenda of limited government and less regulation. The Governor Daugaard has recommended a balanced budget of $1,393,732,594 for FY 2015.

Some of the major issues for this session are Common Core, repealing the Death Pentaly and EB–5 program.

There will likely be legislation introduced a to limit the states ability to adopt Common Core standards. The battle over national standards and testing is ultimately a battle over who controls the content taught in every local public school in America. Ultimately, we should work to ensure that decisions are made by those closest to the students: teachers, principals, and parents.

The animal industry board will bring Senate bill 46, an act to revise provisions regarding animal welfare and to provide a felony penalty for cruelty to animals.  This bill would change from a misdemeanor to a felony. My concern, is the word malicious. Whose definition will we use when interpreting the definition. As of now I do not support changing the law to a felony. I would look forward to any comments you might have regarding this bill.

As always you can contact me at the House Chamber number 773-3851. Leave a phone number and I’ll call you back. The fax number is 773-6806. If you send a fax, address it to Rep. Elizabeth May. You can also email me at rep.may@state.sd.us during session. You can keep track of bills and committee meetings at this link: http://legis.state.sd.us/ You can also use this link to find the legislators, see what committees they are on, read all the bills and track the status of each bill, listen to committee hearings, and contact the legislators.

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