Legislative Report

By Sen. Tom Jones

District 17

Governor signs tourism tax

Last Thursday, Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed the bill which increases the tourism tax permanently to 1.5 per cent. This tax affects all entities that are involved with tourism during the months of June, July, August, and September. The tourism business is a bright star for South Dakotans under the guidance of Secretary of Tourism Jim Hagen.

A bill that is getting a great deal of attention is HB 1087. This bill authorizes school boards to establish school sentinel programs. This bill passed in committee 8-7. It then passed the entire House 42-27. It now will go to committee on the Senate side. If it passed committee, it will go to the Senate floor.

Personally, if each class room door were to automatically lock so the doors could only be opened from inside the class room, I think would be better than more arms in schools. This is a huge emotional issue. Clear minds need to prevail.

On a very positive note, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 8-0 to approve the construction of a sports complex on the University of South Dakota’s campus. Almost all of the funding for this project is from private funds; a small percentage will be from state funds. We also passed SB 9, with an 8-0 vote, which allows the transfer of 14 acres from the University of South Dakota’s Foundation to the University for an outdoor track and 2 soccer fields.

Next week, Joint Appropriations Committee will hear requests from Labor and the Unemployment Trust Fund, the Secretary of State, the Department of Social Services, the Bureau of Finance and Management, our South Dakota Retirement System, and our Investment Council. On Thursday, the two Appropriations Committees will meet separately to listen to bill hearings.

If you would like to contact me, do it at sen.jones@state.sd.us. Please remember to use your name and include where you live.

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