South Dakota Legislative Session winds down, many bills await vote

Jamison Lamp

Jamison Lamp

Legislators have been mulling over bills for 33 days now. With less than two weeks left, the halls of the capitol will be busy.

Feb. 23 was the deadline for passing bills in the house of origin. From this point, bills move to the opposite house for hearing in respective committees and wait for voting in that house.

With over 500 bills being introduced, many issues have been heavily debated

House bill 1240, a ban on smoking in public places, was debated in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on March 2, the bill was scheduled for hearing March 3, but was deferred to a later date. This bill has already passed the House with a vote of 43-27.

HB 1038 increases the license fees for coin-operated washers and dryers, increases the brand registration fees on certain alcoholic beverages, increases the fees for certain malt beverage and wine licenses and revises the distribution of certain malt beverage and wine license fees. The bill is waiting testimony in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

HB 1007 increases noncommercial and commercial motor vehicles licenses. This bill passed the House 57-2 and is being heard March 4 in the Senate Transportation Committee. This bill would increase the license fees for vehicles being registered in South Dakota.

House Concurrent Resolution 1006 advocates Automated External Defibrillators on school grounds. Resolutions are not laws, but rather strong encouragements to local districts to start using the AEDs without having to enact law.

SB 79 would make not wearing seat belts a primary offense. Testimony for this bill was heard March 3 in the House Judiciary Committee and was effectively killed. The Senate passed the bill 21-13 on Feb. 2.

To date Gov. Rounds has signed approximately 70 bills into law and vetoed one bill.

Legislators will take a two-week recess from March 16 to 27 and reconvene on March 30 to hear bills that may be vetoed by the governor.