Heinemann’s Weekly update

By Rep. Leslie Heinemann The Legislature has arrived at the midpoint of the session. The volume of bills to be taken up, and keep track of, gets to be an interesting challenge. I have enjoyed the experience thus far, and appreciate the input I have received from District 8 constituents. It was somewhat of an emotional week for me, as I presented SB 26 to the floor of the House. This bill, as I mentioned previously, called for wording change in South Dakota statute on the terms “mentally retarded” and “mental retardation” to “intellectually disabled” or “intellectual disability.” As some of you may know, I grew up in a family that was affected by these words. It passed both the House and Senate and goes to the Governor’s desk to be signed. If you have more interest in it, go to the Legislature Web site and click on the audio of the House on Jan. 30. HB 1087 passed the House 42-27 on Wednesday and now goes to the Senate to be acted on. I believed, after hearing the testimony, this “Sentinel” bill, as it was referred to, was a version of what we presently have in place in the Flandreau School District, with the option given to local school districts to develop a similar program with local law enforcement. I do understand and respect those that have a different perspective on this issue. It now goes to the Senate for consideration and/or changes as that body sees fit. Bills up for consideration this week, and which I have had some input, are HB 1156, which would give the Game, Fish and Parks Commission authority over nonresident waterfowl licenses, and SB 179, which would require several changes to the drainage permit process. Both issues are dear to me as I enjoy waterfowl hunting and presently have a drainage application up for consideration under Moody County’s drainage permit process. I don’t have enough space here to cover these issues, but if you want to come out to Pierre this coming week and you can get into what will be very crowded committee rooms, you’ll hear lots of testimony. I would be glad to visit with you individually about these or any other issues you believe are important to you. It was nice to see good crowds at both the Flandreau and Madison cracker barrels this past weekend. Each one had its own issues of importance, but it’s valuable to get a sense of what our constituents are thinking. It gave us an opportunity to cover some of the issues we have dealt with over the past four weeks, as well receive feedback from those that took the time to come and be part of the democratic process. I tried to drum up some interest on the “fluoride” bill, as I will be testifying against removing it from communal water supplies on this Monday morning, but didn’t have anyone, pro or con, bring it up at the cracker barrels. We have a ways to go to get through all the bills, as over 500 have been filed, which is about normal based on past legislative years. Please contact me at Rep.Heinemann@state.sd.us or the House phone 605-773-3851 if you have any thoughts on pending legislation. I am enjoying the experience and look forward to any input you might have.

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