We passed an education bill that was a combination of several different ideas. SB 198 started as a bill to eliminate the caps on the school reserve funds. We added an additional $30 million above the formula with no strings attached and put in another $2.5 million to help school districts that are sparsely populated. I was involved in the negotiations that put this bill together and am hopeful that the House will see fit to pass this bill.
In Senate Education we heard HB 1217 that would mandate abstinence only education be taught in all public schools. Just as I voted against SB 196, a bill to require comprehensive sex education, last week I voted against this bill because I believe these decisions need to be made at the local level.
SJR 2 was an attempt to put the abortion issue on the ballot for voters this November. It would have stated that the South Dakota Constitution does not grant any right to an abortion.
The bill sailed through the Senate but died in a House committee when proponents admitted that they might be surprised by the results.
On a personal note, Monday was Vermillion day at the Legislature. We had about 60 people come up and watch the legislative process. It is nice that folks that time out of their lives to spend time in Pierre.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about legislation, please contact me during the week at (605) 773-3821, on the weekend at (605) 624-6178 or anytime by e-mail at sen.nesselhuf@sta te.sd.us.