I am working with the insurance industry on a variety of bills. These are all pieces to the puzzle of protecting our uninsurable population. It clarifies some of the qualifications for the health insurance risk pool and opens it up to some people who would not have qualify currently.
SB 108 is a simple bill that will make it a little easier for people who drive E85 vehicles. One of the problems that we have with getting people to use more E85 is that many times drivers don't know which stations have E85 available. SB 108 would simply add a to the "logo" signs that are at every exit telling what services are offered. I believe that this would not only help drivers but also will encourage stations to install E85 pumps.
Another piece of legislation that I will be proposing this year, but does not have a number yet, is to create environmental standards for oil refineries in South Dakota. Obviously, this is a result of the Hyperion project going up just outside of Clay County. The company is currently making certain promises about the environmental impact of the refinery and I believe that the state has a responsibility to get that in writing.
Nothing that I will be proposing goes beyond what they have already publicly stated they will do so I do not anticipate any opposition.
Another area of interest is the budget for education. The governor is proposing a 2.5 percent increase in education funding. I do not believe that is anywhere near enough. My feeling is that the sentiment of the Legislature is that we will see more then that. Talk around the capital is that it should be closer to 4.5 percent. I will be supporting anything to get our education funding up.
I am beginning my eighth session as a legislator and I realize that I enjoy the privilege of serving the people of District 17 more and more each year. It is an absolute honor to be your voice in Pierre. Please feel free to contact me through email at email@example.com or by phone at 605-773-3821 in the capital or 605-624-6178 at home.