Legislative Report By Rep. H. Junior Engbrecht As you read this, the Legislature will be wrapping up the 74th session. It has been marked by some very hot debate on the House floor. It started with the debate on the seating of a legislator from District 12. We seated John McIntyre. This debate took more than five hours.
The next issue that was very emotional as well as controversial was the attempt to repeal the death penalty. It was not repealed. This past Friday SB 95 was debated for about three hours. The bill was passed out with no amendments.
I had at least 100 farmers and ranchers contact me to vote for the bill with no amendments. There were letters or phone calls telling me to vote against it. My personal belief is that it will cause more harm than good. However, I was elected to vote with the wishes of the people. I sincerely hope that there are no serious repercussions.
HB 1178 was passed. It concerns the special education formula. The governor has come up with an amended version. Many of the schools in District 17 will receive less money with the governor's proposal. We are scheduled to act on the proposal this week.
This week we will also act on the state budget. We will also be reconsidering and concurring on bills that the Senate has amended. It may be a very long week, but, it is the last week of the session.
Another bill that many will be interested in is SB 132. This will increase certain inheritance exemptions. It does not go all the way but it is a step in the right direction. It came out of the Senate 33-0 and passed the House 66-4.
The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on March 6 and reconvene on March 23 to concur or override any of the vetoes the governor may have. If you have any comments please call 605-773-3158 in Pierre or 605-648-3635 in Marion.