Legislative Report

Legislative Report
Greetings! The biggest change this week has been the weather. It's now more cold than snowy.�I appreciate meeting many of the people from District 17 who have come out to Pierre to visit their Capitol, in particular the AARP members.�It is hard to believe we are practically halfway through our legislative session.

House action this week consisted of HB 1118, which gives counties permission to sell tax certificates.�This would allow the transfer of property from owners that have been delinquent in paying property taxes for three years to be purchased by a third party if they pay the taxes up to date.�It passed 56 to 12.�I did not support it due to feeling a public auction of these properties is a better and more fair method of recovering these dollars and dispersing the property.

House Bill 1016, which allows emergency vehicles (fire, ambulance, and police) to go on emergency calls with lights "or" sirens, passed the House 62 to seven.�Presently any emergency call requires lights and sirens by the operator of the emergency vehicle.�This is a good bill because in the rural areas it can take 30-40 minutes to get there, which is a long time to listen to a siren.�This is convenient for the officer to turn off the siren, when six miles away from a robbery call, in order not tip off the bad guy.�This bill focuses on criminal aspects of the law and does not give civil immunity to actions caused by the driver of a emergency vehicle.

There was an attempt to add one leader from the each political party to the executive board when the Legislature is not in session.�The executive board is a group of legislators elected by their own party to help oversee and handle government activities after we leave here in March.�House Bill 1206 intended to add a leadership position from each political party that must be included on the executive board.�This bill failed 20-49, with the concerns that the executive board would become a political issue year-round instead of just the 40 days we are here in January and February.�The proponents of the bill wanted oversight of the board mainly to ensure consistent messages are relayed to the public regarding any issue that may make the news spotlight.�There are good points for each side, however, I too felt that the months when we are not in session should be politically free as much as possible.

A hot committee topic was passed Friday which would require any facility that performs abortions to offer the pregnant mother the opportunity to view the results of a sonogram of the fetus/baby before an abortion is performed.

The mother still has the right to refuse viewing the sonogram.�It (HB 1296) took up a lot of discussion and will get a lot more on the House floor when it arrives next week.

Education bills are coming forward.�So far the 200 minimum school size is having a lot of opposition but that still does not give a good picture of what the legislators plan to do.�

An abortion bill has come forward – I have not read the bill yet but have some problems with the timing of this bill (at least a one-year break would be nice), having concerns that a doctor will be responsible for reporting and finding out the name of a rape suspect.

One of the minimum wage bills was knocked down, but the Governor's minimum wage bill is yet to be heard.� The bill doing away with the death penalty also failed in committee this week.

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�Rep.Boom


As always, please keep our American Troops in your thoughts and prayers as they perform their duties and are away from family and friends.�Also keep U.S. Senator Tim Johnson in your prayers that he may have the strength to achieve his goals in therapy and rehabilitation.

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