Heinemann’s Weekly Report

By Rep. Leslie Heinemann
The impending snowstorm this past week delayed another activity I was looking forward to with the arrival of the little legislators from Madison. They have rescheduled their trip to Monday, March 4. We’ll pray for good weather and look forward to hosting the fourth graders at the Capitol.
The past week included an important day, crossover day, on Wednesday. The House dealt with many last minute details to get any bill that originated in the House, acted upon so it could be sent over to the Senate. Thus, the term crossover day. We debated over 20 bills late into the night and finished a little after 10 pm.  I’ll list some of the following highlights.
HB 1161 passed with a 63-6 margin. This Act continues to be a work in progress as it heads to the Senate. In a nutshell, HB 1161 would establish and provide certain incentives for projects that create new jobs, promote economic activity and  establish the rural economic development partnership program. The bill would help promote expansion of existing South Dakota businesses and provide incentives for new businesses that would create jobs.
HB 1237 (Abortion Counseling Revision) The bill would exclude any Saturday, Sunday, federal holiday or state holiday from being counted in the calculation of the 72 hour minimum time period between the initial physician consultation and the time of the scheduled abortion procedure. The bill passed the House 56-13. I supported this recommended change in statute, as it would provide better access to counseling prior to an abortion.
The Senate and House Health & Human Services Committees, which I serve on,  held a joint meeting on Feb. 20 to listen to public input in regard to Medicaid reform. The joint committee listened to public testimony for over two hours and efforts to facilitate more public discussion will be ongoing.
SB 45 passed the House on Feb. 21 and will now go to the Governor. The bill will allow citizens to apply for renewal of their driver’s license by mail or internet once in any 10 year period. This bill will make government more efficient and reduce waiting periods.
HB 1135 (Nonmeandered Lakes Bill) The bill would regulate access to and use of public waters on public and private property. The bill passed House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee 12-1 and the House floor 37-32. However, it was defeated in Senate State Affairs on Feb. 20. Both proponents and opponents agreed to work on a compromise solution over the next year. I received a lot of correspondence, both pro and con, on this issue.
Our leaders in the legislature are expressing caution and fiscal responsibility as they prepare the state budget, realizing that significant federal cuts as a result of sequestration are very realistic. Stay tuned…
As always, I look forward to your input, and especially if you travel to Pierre.  Please call 605-773-3851 or e-mail me at Rep.Heinemann@state.sd.us if you want to discuss a particular issue.


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