Legislative Report

Legislative Report
We have just finished our third week in session which amounts to 12 of our 35 legislative days being completed. It has still been relatively quiet in both my Health and Human Service and my Commerce Committees. The two bills of interest this week in Health Committee was HB 1128 and SB 34. House bill 1128 is one of those situations we get ourselves involved in periodically when we do not hear all the information or are not provided with all the information regarding a bill when asked to be a co-sponsor of the bill. In this case when I was informed about HB1128, I was told that it was mostly going to require parental consent for those under 18 to use a tanning bed. This comes in reaction to several teenage girls in the Aberdeen area coming down with the most serious cases of skin cancer and has been attributed to tanning bed use. It did not seem too unreasonable so I agreed to sign on. On Wednesday, we took up testimony on the bill and learned very quickly that it was a complete regulation of the entire tanning industry. It includes such things as when the tanning bulbs must be replaced and requirements for health care workers to report tanning bed burns and cancers which they feel may be related to the tanning beds. So needless to say I was somewhat surprised and will unlikely support this bill if it comes back to us in its current form. An amendment was introduced to require standard cleaning procedures and also require parental consent to use the tanning bed, however a sub-committee was appointed to conduct further hearings on the bill and it will be taken up again later.

As for SB 34, this bill addresses some of the massive requests we have been receiving to allow Certified "Nurse" midwives to assist a woman who desires to give birth in her own home or place of choosing. It currently is not illegal for a woman to give birth in her own home, however, it is illegal for any person to assist in the birth process as a midwife. Midwives do provide a great deal of experience and improves safety to a woman who has determined for whatever the reason to give birth at home. This bill addresses nurses who not only have a degree in nursing but have also been educated in the program for midwifery, which is a two to three year program. The bill passed 10-3 in committee.

As for the House floor we have dealt with numerous issues, one of which has created a lot of debate. It stems from the incentives related to when schools consolidate. The bill was designed to provide incentive monies to a school district that consolidated with another school district. However, a loophole in the law was not observed. One school district found this loophole and took advantage of it. What happened was the Polo school district (with only 10 students) through a vote of the public decided to consolidate but did so with two different school districts (Miller and Faulkton) with only about five students going to each of the new districts. The incentive applies to the total of all students that come together in the new districts. In this case, there were two new districts rather than one as was intended, each adding five students, one with 496 and the other with 333 students. This basically doubled the amount to be received by a factor of two or about 450,000 extra dollars for moving 10 students. So needless to say there is still a lot of debate regarding if the incentives should be allowed since it was not the intent of the bill/incentive when it was originally voted on. There are currently two to three other school districts planning to take advantage of this same loophole so it needs to be closed up soon. This bill has been deferred for a couple days.

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact me at: Rep.Boomgarden@State.sd.us

Remember to keep all the American and Coalition Troops and their families in your thoughts and prayers as they perform their duties. Also just a note to give our prayers to one of our State Legislators, Rep. Juhnke whose 20 year old son passed away this week. It is a good reminder to give your kids a hug because you never know when the unfortunate time such an event may occur!

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