Rookie Representative Kaleb Weis’s (R-2/Aberdeen) legislation distinguishes him as both trivially ignorant and sinisterly fascist. Are any other rookies doing as poorly as Kaleb at legislating in the public interest?
Not on the Democratic side.
Rookie Representative Peri Pourier (D-27/Pine Ridge) bounced back from an early absence to file six House Bills:
- House Bill 1153 includes properties of cultural and historic importance to tribes in our historic preservation law and clarifies that South Dakota should follow federal law and consult with tribal historic preservation officers when reviewing projects that could affect such historical resources.
- House Bill 1237 tells DCI to collect and share information on missing and murdered indigenous persons.
- House Bill 1238 tells DCI to add that information about missing and indigenous persons to the training it offers to law enforcement personnel on dealing with missing person and runaway cases.
- House Bill 1239 allows tribes to request a local hearing before the Water Management Board to discuss temporary water permits that may affect tribal water rights. (Pourier withdrew a similar House Bill 1161 on this topic last week.)
- House Bill 1240 grants that same hearing right to counties and municipalities who fear their water supplies may be affected by a new water permit.
- House Bill 1241 directs the Attorney General to create training on human trafficking for employees of lodging establishments and requires lodging employers to provide that training. HB 1241 also provides lodging proprietors and employees immunity from civil action for reporting suspected human trafficking.
Rookie Representative Ryan Cwach (D-18/Yankton) has thrown six bills in the hopper:
- House Bill 1165 creates a South Dakota Prepaid College Program, allowing parents to pay tuition, fees, and dorm costs years before their kids go to a South Dakota public university or vo-tech at current rates.
- House Bill 1166 protects Regental students from cost recovery fees imposed by the state’s collection agency (ahem: Obligation Recovery Center).
- House Bill 1213 directs the Department of Labor and Regulation to contract for an independent feasibility study and actuarial model of options for long-term care in South Dakota, to be completed by December 15 of this year.
- House Bill 1214 would prevent the state collection agency from blocking folks who owe money to the Regents from registering their vehicles and getting driver licenses, hunting and fishing licenses, and state park permits.
- House Bill 1215 requires counties and municipalities who post their ordinances online to verify that they’ve published the most current versions.
- House Bill 1236 would strike the loophole that Sanford and Avera used last month to drop coverage for autism treatment.
Rookie Representative Erin Healy (D-14/Sioux Falls) is prime sponsor of three reasonable House Bills:
- House Bill 1122 strikes “hearing impaired” from statute and replaces it with the terms “deaf or hard of hearing” that folks with those conditions prefer.
- House Bill 1175 creates an Early Learning Advisory Council, which would allow South Dakota to receive federal collaboration grants to expand pre-school availability.
- House Bill 1230 would add clergy to the list of mandatory reporters for suspected child abuse or neglect.
- House Bill 1243 adds sexual orientation and gender identity to our hate crimes statute and clarifies that hate crimes shall be punished as Class 6 felonies.
- House Bill 1244 makes the “correspondence, memoranda, calendars or logs of appointments, working papers, and records of telephone calls” of state agency officials and employees public records. (Governor Noem wants transparency; HB 1244 offers transparency.)
Rookie Senator Red Dawn Foster (D-27/Pine Ridge) has one Senate Bill of her own (in addition to priming eleven House bills for her Democratic allies across the hall):
- Senate Bill 184 toughens up the standards that TransCanada used to renew its permit for Keystone XL from the Public Utilities Commission. SB 184 says applicants for certification of a permit after four years of inaction on a project must show they have complied with prior permit conditions. SB 184 also directs the PUC to consider the applicant’s performance on similar projects and past violations of state, federal , and tribal laws or regulations.
Representative Linda Duba (D-15/Sioux Falls) similarly slacked off in her first Session, offering no House bills of her own but priming two of her District-15-mate Senator Reynold Nesiba’s bills.
I wish Saba and Duba had kept up with their fellow rookie Dems on bill introduction. As you see, even the rookie legislators of the Democratic Party offer meaningful, substantive legislation designed to help people and solve real problems, not fight the bogeymen and culture wars that consume the meager imaginations of Republican noobs like Kaleb Weis.