Legislative Week 6 Feb. 16, 2017

Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States said, “Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of the government; the history of government is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is the history of the limitation of government, not the increase of it.” As we approach the conclusion of session, I think it’s important for legislators to keep this in mind.

Rep. Livermont, Senator Killer and I were honored to have the US Government Classes from Bennett Co. and Kadoka Schools at the Capitol this week. It’s refreshing to have young people come and see first hand the importance of learning and understanding our form of government. The students were prepared with questions of pending legislation for us. I applaud their teachers, Mandi Smokov and Dave Ohrtman, for bringing the students prepared. I also want to note how impressed I was with the attention given to their attire and manners. With all the negative news regarding our young people, I can say Bennett Co. and Kadoka citizens can be proud of these kids.

In 2014, the “Extraordinary Litigation Fund” was established. Under this section, the State Treasury created a sub fund. The fund is maintained separately and administered by the Bureau of Administration. The fund may be used for plaintiff attorney fees, retention of outside counsel, settlement costs, or other litigation expenses. This past week, the legislators approved $7,994,202 on settled or closed cases. The cases range from March of 2006 to August of 2016. Currently there are six open cases.

Tobacco #1- Challenging the MSA requirements and the escrow account requirements applicable to non-participating tobacco product manufacturers.
Tobacco #4- Challenging the 2004 Tobacco Diligent Enforcement Proceeding, which places the State’s annual tobacco payments from the Participating Manufactures under the “Master Settlement Agreement.” They expect an evidentiary hearing sometime in 2017.
Planned Parenthood-Challenging the 2011-abortion legislation. A number of depositions have been scheduled and a trial date may be possible in 2017.
EECO/Goodman- filed a discrimination charge on November of 2011. He alleges that he was not hired for an Employment Specialist Position.
Oglala/Rosebud Tribes- are challenging the State’s procedures in emergency removal hearings, claiming violations of constitutional rights and of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
LP6, LLC-The plaintiff brings this action to redress the alleged fraud by defendants by which members were unlawfully solicited to invest in providing financing for a project undertaken by Northern Beef Packers Limited Partnership to build, develop and operate a beef processing plant in South Dakota (The PROJECT). This is in regards to the EB-5 Program which facilitates foreign investment in certain communities in the US for projects that will benefit those communities by creating jobs. Under the program, in exchange for making approved investments, the foreign investors and their immediate families are granted conditional lawful permanent resident status, which can become unconditional after 2 years. LP6 claims $18 million aggregated loss in investments.

I’ll leave you with this quote, “Where there is a rift in the lute, the business of the lawyer is to widen the rift and gather the loot.”

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.

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