Legislative Update

Advocates,

This is an adaptation of the good alert about what’s up on Monday from the Democracy in Action group in Rapid. Basically, I am adding SJR1 and also DRA’s comments on 1184.

Here we go again. Crossover day was Friday, which means that all bills must be heard and cleared (either passed or defeated, tabled or sent to the 41st legislative day) in the legislative house where they originated. Many did not survive, but there are plenty left for us to support, and also an inordinate number of those we must oppose.

Senate State Affairs Committee: 10am(9Mt)

Senators  Bob.Ewing@sdlegislature.govJenna.Netherton@sdlegislature.gov,Jim.Bolin@sdlegislature.govBlake.Curd@sdlegislature.gov,

Troy.Heinert@sdlegislature.govKris.Langer@sdlegislature.gov,

 Ryan.Maher@sdlegislature.govAl.Novstrup@sdlegislature.gov,  

Billie.Sutton@sdlegislature.gov,

will consider

House Bill 1199:  prohibit collective bargaining by employees of the Board of Regents

     This bill follows the lead of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who disabled unions among public employees, including K-12 school teachers.  This bill prohibits collective bargaining among professors and staff at our public colleges and universities.  That would mean that every contract would, of necessity, have to be individually negotiated. In a state well known for paying its teachers poorly, do we want to give up the only mechanism for collective bargaining?  How would that affect the quality of instructors/professors who would apply for any openings we might have in the state?  And since women have, in the past, been found to ask for less than men do, simply because men believe they’re worth more, it might mean that women end up with less pay than men.  Please ask the members of Senate State Affairs to OPPOSE this bill.

House State Affairs Committee:  7:45am(6:45Mt)

Rep’s Larry.Rhoden@sdlegislature.govLee.Qualm@sdlegislature.gov,

Julie.Bartling@sdlegislature.govArch.Beal@sdlegislature.gov

Lynne.DiSanto@sdlegislature.gov, David.Lust@sdlegislature.gov,

Steven.Haugaard@sdlegislature.govSpencer.Hawley@sdlegislature.gov,

Leslie.Heinemann@sdlegislature.govKent.Peterson@sdlegislature.gov

Isaac.Latterell@sdlegislature.govMark.Mickelson@sdlegislature.gov

Tona.Rozum@sdlegislature.gov

will consider these three bills:

Senate Joint Resolution 2:  Proposing and submitting to the electors at the next general election an amendment to the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, relating to the militia of the state.

     This resolution, if passed by the Senate, will go to the ballot in November.  It defines the South Dakota militia as “any adult able-bodied person legally residing in the state except any person who is exempted by the laws of the United States or of this state.”  I personally don’t want to be considered a member of the state militia.  Do you?  While the definition it replaces was certainly outdated — only men, and only men between the ages of 18 and 45 — this might be a good opportunity to let our senators know how we feel about guns.

Senate Bill 8: to establish provisions as to how campaign contribution limits apply to certain aggregate contributions.

    Now that it is legal for “entities” to contribute to campaigns (stemming directly from the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United V. FEC), this bill, if passed, would make certain that all “committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by the same corporation, labor organization, person, or group of persons, including any parent, subsidiary, branch, division, department, or local unit thereof, are affiliated and share a single contribution limit both with respect to contributions made and contributions received.”  It makes sure that corporations cannot game the system by making multiple contributions to a campaign.  Please tell the members of House State Affairs to SUPPORT this bill.

Senate Joint Resolution 1:  Proposing and submitting to the electors at the next general election an amendment to the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, relating to amendments to the Constitution.

     This resolution, if passed by the Senate, will go to the ballot in November.  It would raise the threshold for voters to pass resolutions, from 50%+1 to 55%. The process has worked, and it seems to work pretty well. As is, it’s not too easy to pass a Constitutional amendment. Since 1972, only 17 citizen-initiated constitutional amendments have been on the ballot, and only 7 passed. There does not seem to be a good reason we should change the initiative, referendum, or amendment process. Let’s leave it the way it is. Please ask the members of House State Affairs to OPPOSE this bill.

Senate Transportation Committee:  9am(8Mt)

Senators jim.bolin@sdlegislature.govblake.curd@sdlegislature.gov,

jason.frerichs@sdlegislature.govErnie.Otten@sdlegislature.gov,

Lance.Russell@sdlegislature.govAlan.Solano@sdlegislature.gov,

Jim.Stalzer@sdlegislature.gov

will consider

House Bill 1184:  provide certain provisions regarding waste disposal lines along or under highways

    This bill would allow Contained Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), large corporate animal farms, to lay pipes through which to pipe manure on property they do not own.  We’ve all heard stories about pipeline leaks; consider what a spill of animal waste would be like. This bill is a direct gift to corporate farming operations.  Please ask the members of Senate Transportation to OPPOSE this bill.

    Here is how DRA describes it: House Bill 1184 would allow CAFO operators to run their force-main manure disposal pipes through the right of way across private land without landowner permission. It would accomplish this by putting these pipes into a section of code dealing with public utilities… except these pipes would be above ground. [I add:   And they are private companies, not public utilities.] We see HB 1184 as a major breach of private property rights. Currently, those wishing to run their private business’s waste disposal pipes across their neighbor’s land work out an agreement to do so with their neighbor. This bill would allow them to [run the pipes] without any kind of permission or notification. An amendment to this bill allows for counties to regulate this process if they desire–but there’s no requirement to do so. Proponents of this bill say that a vote against it is “a vote against agriculture,” but our farmer and rancher members disagree–if you want to do a part of your business on someone else’s property, you work that out with them. Contact members of the Senate Transportation Committee and ask them to OPPOSE this bill.

These last two weeks of the session will be busy, so please keep up the good work. Thanks.



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