Legislative Week 4 Feb. 2, 2017
Week four was somewhat busier than the weeks before, but still nothing like it has been in the past.
HB 1069 was heard in the Senate this week. After a lengthy debate, it passed off the floor and was signed into law by the Governor. HB1069 was a complete repeal of IM22. At last count, there were 27 bills introduced to replace concerns to IM22. Due to threats made on legislators and family members, countless law enforcement agencies along with canine units covered every floor of the capital. I turned my focus on the young pages serving during session. Part of their duty is to answer incoming phone calls. Because of inappropriate language and threats to legislators, the Page Staff had to suspend the practice. I understand citizen’s compassion on particular issues, but what I don’t understand is utter disregard for civility. We’re Citizen Legislators, meaning we campaign on our own time and our own money. Our yearly salary is $6000.00 and we’re paid 5 cents a mile. We’re not subsidized by the State with funds that would cripple our State economy. Taking 8% from the State Budget to create “Democracy Credits” will do nothing but take away from other important matters such as Education, Law Enforcement, and Infrastructure; not mention it’s unconstitutional. This session has been burdened with the task of taking out and fixing IM22 which could be better served spending time looking at ways to invest our State’s time and money. I encourage everyone to contact me with concerns regarding IM22, but I encourage you, base the conversation on “Facts” not “Emotions.”
Following is a list of bills you can review dealing with Elections/Public Officials/Ethics Reform and Transparency.
HB 1034, HB1035, HB1036, HB1073, HB1074, HB1076, HB1089, HB1128, HB1130, SB27, SB53, SB54, SB59, SB67, SB77, SB116, SJR2.
Due to the time spent on IM22, not much else moved forward. I do want to bring attention to SB135. COOL or “Country of Origin Labeling” is back again this year. SB135 would repeal South Dakota’s existing law that says anyone who knowingly sells meat from a foreign country must post a SIGN indicating the country of origin. It would be replaced with a provision requiring retailers who sell beef and ground beef to LABEL IT with the country of origin. If the origin can’t be determined, the product would have to be labeled as “unknown” or “Country of origin unknown.” The measure includes an exemption for prepared foods for immediate sale or ready to eat. If you support “Country of Origin Labeling” I strongly encourage you to contact the committee members on State Affairs to encourage them to support the legislation. Following is the link for members on State Affairs. http://sdlegislature.gov/Legislative_Session/Committees/CommitteeMembers.aspx?Committee=356&Session=2017
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.