We have just completed our second week of session which was a four-day week due to the Martin Luther King holiday.
The week has been very slow. The committees I sit on have been hearing State Agency reports from the Secretary of Social Services and Secretary of Labor with the remaining time handling agency bills which usually have little debate.
The big news out here is that the Senate received permission from the Supreme Court to conduct hearings related to the Senator Sutton case and the male page. I have not been privileged to any information outside of the newspapers and news reports regarding this case, but I will admit I have some troubles with this case due to the timing this issue was brought up – just weeks before the November election and due to the lack of criminal charges from law enforcement. I surely hope this is not a political game to obtain a Senate seat. The only good thing about this case is that the disciplinary hearing is a Senate issue and should not involve the House of Representatives which is where I sit. In defense of the Senators pushing for the hearings, there have been other state legislatures where the lack of taking positive steps to correct problems made them responsible in future legal actions and judgments.
For this reason and the fact they are privileged to more information about the case could explain why the Senate is taking the steps that you have been hearing about regarding this serious allegation. I believe these hearings could start as early as next week.
A couple bills of interest would be HB 1041, which I supported and raises the renewal fee for beauty salon operators from 15 dollars to 25 dollars per year. The reason this is a bill of interest is that my mother owns and operates a beauty salon and I can imagine my free haircuts will no longer exist if it passes through the Senate.
House Bill 1044 passed the house 67-3 and deals with sales taxes related to leases or purchases of new farm equipment. The reason for the bill is to ensure sales taxes would not be the factor that causes an equipment dealer to lose business to another state. What this bill does is evens out sales taxes from state to state. South Dakota has a 3% sales tax on farm equipment – if you buy equipment from a state without a sales tax you will have to pay that tax in South Dakota when you return. If the other state is 2 percent tax, then you would have to pay the 1 percent difference once back in this State. It now goes to the Senate for further hearings.
As I stated earlier this week was very slow and therefore I really have very little to add at this point.
Feel free to contact me if any questions arise or if you would like to make any comments. I can be reached through e-mail at the address Rep.Boomgarden@sta te.sd.us
Please keep our American troops in your thoughts and prayers as they perform their duties and are away from family and friends. That is the least we can do as we sit back in the comforts of our homes.