Legislative Week 7

Crossover week went very well and I attribute the success to the chairs and members of all the committees. Every year the stress leading up to crossover can become overwhelming. This year the stress was minimized by the ability to conduct the committee process efficiently.

On Friday Rep. Dan Kaiser and myself jointly moved to establish a Select Committee on Discipline and Expulsion to investigate the conduct of Rep. Johnson. Rep. Lesmeister seconded the motion.
We’re all passionate about our issues and we work hard to represent those passions on bills during the debate. The incident I’m referring to “Did NOT” happen during the debate on the floor as Rep. Johnson refers to in his apology to the body on Friday. This incident happened well after session had concluded.
This wasn’t a debate; this was behavior that cannot be tolerated. I stand by my decision, this incident warrants a full investigation. 45 of my fellow legislators agreed. 13 legislators resisted the motion.
It now will be up to the select committee to decide the appropriate coarse of action. Following is the link to the motion:
I need to give everyone a review of the bills I sponsored this session. Following are two I’ll concentrate on for this column.

I’ll start with HB 1172 an act revise certain provisions regarding meetings of certain public bodies. This will ensure time will be set aside for public comment. The amount of time will be at the discretion of the chair. It’s important in a democracy that citizens are able to bring their concerns before their elected officials. State Affairs committee heard this bill and passed with only one nay vote. It moved to the floor and passed with only eight nay votes. HB 1172 will now move to the Senate for their consideration.

HB 1221 expands the partners in education tax credit program to include tribally controlled schools on a federally recognized Indian reservation. In 2016 SB 159 created the partners in education tax credit program allowing insurance companies tax incentive for tuition fees to private schools. HB 1221 will allow this incentive for private schools on our reservations. It passed House Education committee unanimously and the full house with only five nay votes. It will now be heard on the Senate side.

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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