Legislative Report By Rep. H. Junior Engbrecht Possibly the most dramatic day of this session occurred on Feb. 18 when the repeal of the death penalty was debated. The debate lasted for more then two hours and was very emotional. The repeal lost 47 to 23.
Feb. 19 was supposed to be the last day to get bills out of their house of origin. The House did not get all of their work completed. The rules were suspended and we will attempt to clear the House bills on Feb. 22 or 23.
It is beginning to look as though there will be a slightly different version of road funding coming out of the Senate than the House. Apparently the Senate has a four cent per gallon tax on motor fuel instead of three cents which the House passed. If this be the case, a conference committee composed of members from both bodies will come to an agreement after which the full Senate and House will need to concur. However, if there are not restrictions put on overweight vehicles the proposals amy have a difficult time getting the governor's signature.
HB 12011, an act to increase the state portion of video lottery machine income, to dedicate the additional income and provide for the repeal of video lottery was defeated in committee eight to four. HB 1200, an act to repeal video lottery and increase the sales and use tax has also failed but possibly could be reconsidered. I would be surprised if any changes will take place. However, there is consideration being given to get the video lottery question on the ballot again.
Agriculture remains one of the most important issues being addressed. SB 95 will be heard on the House floor on March 1. This bill has created a lot of heated discussion. It has to do with revealing the pricing of certain livestock by the packers. Certain people seem to think that if the bill is passed the packers and processors may bypass South Dakota producers.
HB 1138, an act to account for how taxes are paid on certain mobile homes, was lobbied very hard by the schools. It passed the House and is on the way to be heard in the Senate. There is a Constant argument as to which taxes and monies belong in or out of the school formula.
The last cracker-barrel of the session was held in Vermillion last Saturday. It was well attended. I was pleased with the response of those in attendance. Remember my phone number in Pierre is 605-773-3851. Weekend number is 605-648-3635. We need your input.