Legislative Week Feb. 3-7 2014

The 4th week of session ended and the final day to submit bills was Tuesday February 4th. The final tally on bills and resolutions filed is 511. In 2013 we saw 402 bills and resolutions. I expect the next few weeks will be very busy.

House Bill 1006 was up for a hearing in the House Agriculture and Natural Resouces Committee on Tuesday, February 4, but was tabled. A companion bill, Senate 8, was tabled by the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee. Both bills came out of the Agricultural Land Assessment Implementation and Oversight Advisory Task Force during interim meetings this summer. Currently, South Dakota agricultural land is taxed based on soil type and productivity. These are aimed at basing ag land property taxes on actual use. This bill will be back to committee in the next couple of week.’s I would like to hear from my constituents regarding this issue.

Governor Daugaard announced that he will ask federal officials to let South Dakota expand its Medicaid program in a way that would provide medical services to those most in need. He said he will support expanding eligibility only up to 100 percent of the poverty level because those above that mark can buy subidized private insurance throgh the new health care law. People earning up to 138 percent of the poverty level- about $16,000 for a single person or $33,000 for a family of four-would be covered by a full expansion. The federal government would fully cover those added to Medicaid rolls through 2016, and the state’s contribution would rise in stages to 10 percent of the costs by 2020. An expansion to 100 percent of the poverty level would cover a single person earning up to about $11,700 and a family of four earning $23,850.

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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