The letter…

Old John Wiik February 29, 2016 Staff 0

As I was wrapping up a full day of “day job” work on Friday, we received notice that CMS (Medicaid) has reached an agreement...

WIIK_JOHN_2015As I was wrapping up a full day of “day job” work on Friday, we received notice that CMS (Medicaid) has reached an agreement with the State of South Dakota.  We were forwarded the seven page letter that was written in the most beautifully vague government speak I have ever read.  I believe that 20 people could sit down and read that letter independently and reach 20 different conclusions.  The posturing is already beginning and we’ll see what comes out of this.  Any proposal that is reached must be approved by the Legislature, the Governor, and the Tribes.  I really believe that there is not sufficient time remaining this session to deal with this issue, but we’ll learn more about that in the upcoming two weeks. There’s rumblings of a special session, but odds are best that it will be put into legislation for next year’s legislative session.

Crossover Day was last Wednesday, when all bills must be moved from their House of Origin, except for the new rules with the Joint Appropriations Committee, which has 2 days remaining to move bills through.  All remaining House bills that haven’t been delivered to the Governor are now in the Senate, and the House is taking up Senate bills. Committees are working on delivering the final load of Senate bills to the floor for final disposition.  Issues we’ll see this week in the House are SB2, a change in county funding involving the alcohol tax distribution.  In fact, if SB2 passes without amendments, Deuel County could receive an additional 29,279.53 in county funding.  Grant County could see 25,410.54, Codington County could see 108,257.08, and Brookings County 124,624.31.  As written, I support this bill and we’ll hopefully vote on it this week.

Also coming this week are the issues with SB131 and SB133, the meat and potatoes of the Education reforms recommended by the Blue Ribbon Task Force.  We’re looking closely at the other revenues when it comes to District 4, and I’m working with Superintendents and our Education committee to get the answers we need before we vote on that bill.  As always, I value your input at  Thanks for the opportunity to serve you in Pierre.


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