State Senate Report by Sen. John Reedy The 74th Legislative Session began with uncertainty in the House of Representatives. The House convened at noon on Tuesday to determine who would become the official representative from District 12 in Sioux Falls.
Rep. Hall Wick and Democratic challenger John McIntyre tied for the seat in the Nov. 3 election. After a recount of the ballots was called, McIntyre was declared the victor by four votes. Wick challenged the outcome of the recall board to the full body of the House of Representatives, bypassing the court system. After seven hours of debate, McIntyre was voted in by a 36-33 roll call vote.
This is a true example of democracy and bi-partisan efforts on the part of South Dakota Legislators.
The governor's State of the State Address was postponed until Wednesday, as he waited to have both the Senate and the House organized and jointly gathered for the annual speech.
Democratic priorities of education and wages were reflected in the governor's speech, Janklow is planning to set up a task force to study wages, an idea first proposed by Democrats. South Dakota ranks dead last in wages. The task force will determine how wages vary across the state from small to large cities and companies. The study is expected to be completed this fall.
Children's issues were also placed on the state's agenda. A year-long study of preschool is in the works. Schools will not be mandated to offer preschool programs. However, it is hoped that school districts will find room for the 4-year-olds when the program is in place.
The Legislature began work, late in the week, on bills submitted for consideration. Lawmakers are in the process of getting bills drafted for consideration. If you have any suggestions for legislation, please contact me at (605) 624-2210 at home or (605) 773-4494 at the Capitol.