Well the legislature has completed the second week of session. The weather conditions cooperated better making the trip back and forth more enjoyable.
So far, 124 Bills have been introduced for the 2017 session, 64 in the Senate and 60 in the House.
Most of the session so far has focused on addressing the unconstitutionality of IM 22. Well over $5 million would be appropriated every year to pay for political campaigns. Also, the law could potentially prohibit teachers, nurses, business owners and others from serving in the legislature due to conflict of interests. Over $1 million was used from out of state group to promote IM 22. The Secretary of State has introduced SB53 and SB54. SB53 would create a Campaign Finance Ethics Commission and SB54 would revise certain provisions regarding campaign finance requirements. May concerns are not “Campaign Finance Ethics” but concerns over the lack of over sight on state agencies. Millions and millions of dollars come into the State of South Dakota every year with no Agency Ethics Commission. EB-5 and Gear Up could have been avoided if an Ethics Commission would have been in place assuring no conflicts of interest. We have GOAC (Government Operations and Audit Committee) made up of legislators. I would like to see this expanded to include an ethics commission. We seem to have a bigger problem with Governor appointments using the experience and knowledge obtained while in government to enrich themselves off the backs of the taxpayers once they leave their position. Four years I sat on the Education Committee and not once was the committee informed on Gear Up. I look back now and guess there might have been a reason for that. I personally think South Dakotans voted for IM 22 thinking this would correct the wrongs of EB 5 and Gear Up and I haven’t seen any bill yet that addresses that concern.
SB25 has passed out of Senate Judiciary and the complete Senate. It now will make its way to House Judiciary this week. This bill would allow for “Mug Shots” to be made available to the publishing industry that is emerging across the country. The industry consists of private companies that publish mug shots and booking details of individuals arrested by law enforcement agencies. There has been over 60 new mug shot websites created in the last two years. The “Reputation Management Industry” profit when individuals pay a fee to have their mug shot removed from one or more websites. On occasion the same company resulting in a combination “Business Model” sometimes operates the two types of businesses. It might be legal, but is close to extortion in my mind. I still believe you’re “Innocent until proven guilty” and will work this week against SB25. I’m including a link to the House Judiciary committee members if anyone would like to weigh in on SB25. http://sdlegislature.gov/Legislative_Session/Committees/CommitteeMembers.aspx?Committee=359&Session=2017
There has not been much legislation reaching the floor this week. I expect starting next week we’ll see more bills coming out of committee and to the floor for our debate. The longest debate on floor this week was to allow hair braiding without having cosmetology license. It turns out that we still have some common sense left and passed if off the floor with only a few NO votes.
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 Elizabeth.May@sdlegislature.gov 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 legislators.