Week three is behind us. All our house bill drafts were due back in the LRC and final day to introduce individual bills and joint resolutions are Feb. 4th.

To date over 40 bills that have been introduced are regarding education, that is 14% of all bills introduced so far. The bills cover a broad array of topics, including Common Core Standards that I went over in my column last week. Also, we have seen bills on the use of capital outlay funds, regulation of he SD High School Activities Association, adjustments to the education formula, and requiring the Pledge of Allegiance to be recited in every public school classroom at the start of the day. Much debate will occur about education issues throughout session.

The debate over Common Core continues and lobbying efforts have intensified. This week, the House defeated HB Resolution 1008 with a 31-34 vote. The resolution urged the SD Board of Education to refrain from any efforts to further expand the Common Core standards and to establish a plan to end the involvement with such current standards in 2017. The Capital filled early on Wednesday with concerned parents, grandparents, teachers and school board members from accross the state. They’re lobbying efforts were against Common Core Standards. I will be introducing 3 bills addressing the on going concerns of our educational system.

Other bills that will be coming up are as follows:
HB 1006 would provide for the assessment and taxation of agricultural land based on actual use.
HB 1068 would allow the use of dogs to hunt mountain lions in any area of the state outside the Black Hills Fire Protection district.
HB 1149 would lower the state sales and use tax on certain food items and to increase the rate of taxation for the sales and use tax on certain goods and services.
HB 1183 would repeal the death penalty.

I encourage you to look at these bills on the state web site at http://legis.sd.gov and give me your feed back.

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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