As we transition to the second half of the legislative session, legislators are facing crunch time. This Thursday is the deadline for the Appropriations... Week Five of The 2019 Legislative Session

As we transition to the second half of the legislative session, legislators are facing crunch time. This Thursday is the deadline for the Appropriations committee to decide how much they think we will have to spend this year. The revenue estimate will be key to making several major decisions, such as how to fund nursing homes, education, community support providers, state employees, and any one-time special projects.
Two big questions will be: 1) how much revenue will come in from collecting online sales taxes? and 2) when and how will the anticipated recession affect the general fund?
My bills
HB1067 is a bill I’m sponsoring at the request of constituents who ran into challenges trying to adopt. The bill modernizes an outdated adoption law and improves public policy. The bill passed committee 12-1 and the full House 57-8. It now heads to the Senate.
My other constituent bill, HB1200, came at the request of a woman who was frustrated she couldn’t find online information who to call about getting her township road plowed. I put together a simple one-sentence transparency bill that requires any county that maintains an official website to post the name and phone number of each township supervisor. The bill passed committee 8-5 and now goes to the full House.
HB1043 requires the Department of Social Services to collaborate with military authorities when investigating a report of child abuse or neglect if the parent is active duty military. Last week the bill passed unanimously out of the full House. This week the full Senate unanimously passed it. The bill now goes to the governor for her consideration.
HB1044 allows active duty military families who are pending relocation to South Dakota the opportunity to get their ducks in a row prior to physically moving to our state by applying for enrollment in a school district. This bill also passed unanimously through both the House and Senate and now awaits the governor’s consideration.
Simon’s Law, or HB1055, requires parental permission before a doctor may put an order to withhold resuscitation (a DNR order) in a minor’s medical chart. The bill is meant to prevent issues that have happened in other states. The bill passed out of committee 12-0. This week I was blessed to pass it out of the full House 68-0. It is scheduled to be heard in Senate committee this week.
Committee Work
In Health Committee we heard SB72. The bill requires Planned Parenthood to use standardized, state-issued informed consent forms for abortions. The bill passed the full Senate 26-5. House committee testimony should be completed this week. I support the bill.
Education Committee heard HB1087. The bill codifies current state university free speech policies. The bill also requires students take classes in American history and government, and pass a citizenship exam. The bill represents the latest round of disagreements between the Regents which oversee the state’s universities and the legislature which fund them. I supported the bill and it passed 9-6. It next heads to the full House for consideration.
HB 1109 attempts to roll back the clock a few years to eliminate the requirement that tax from local sources like wind towers go into a statewide pool. The bill re-establishes portions of the old funding formula to allow local tax dollars to stay with local schools. Dr. Kim Kludt, Deubrook Superintendent, was masterful in her testimony. I supported the bill and it passed 10-5. It now heads to appropriations committee where it likely will be killed due to lack of funds.
That’s it for now. Please feel free to contact me at any time via email at And if you make it to the Capitol, please look me up.
Life is good. Have a great week. – Fred

Staff Writer

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