Parsley’s Weekly Review

By Rep. Scott Parsley, Dist. 8
One third of the 88th legislative session has ended and the pace of activity has picked up.
This week in State Affairs Committee we dealt with several bills that came out of the Governor’s Task Force on Open Government. One of these bills dealt with making mug shots available on arrest. The committee killed this bill based on testimony that stated that these pictures should only be published after someone has been proven guilty of the crime.
Several of the other bills dealt with a variety of issues regarding open government: from what meetings need to be published, to how public boards and commissions can communicate with each other, as well as what communication needs to be made public.
In Commerce and Energy we dealt with two significant bills, the first dealing with 85 octane fuel. The issue is where it can be sold and what type of labeling will be required on the pumps dispensing 85 octane fuel. There were two bills that would have required different labeling at pumps indicating the octane level and a warning that users may experience engine problems if the fuel is used in certain engines.
A compromise was reached which will require labeling and restricts the sale of 85 octane fuel to the nine most western counties in the state. The bill passed the committee and the full House and now moves to the Senate.
The other bill that drew a significant amount of testimony was a bill to abolish the Massage Therapy Licensing Requirements and Regulatory Board. Following lengthy testimony on both sides of the issue, the committee’s passed the bill to the floor for further discussion. Much of the committee discussion reflected a strong hope that the two sides could get together to find a compromise on this issue.
Other significant bills were acted on this week. Maybe the most public of these bills was the school sentinels bill HB 1087. This bill would allow local school districts to decide if they wished to have armed personnel in their schools. After lengthy testimony and committee discussion the bill passed out of the Education Committee on an eight to seven vote and will be coming to the House floor.
The senate also passed the Criminal Reform Bill SB 70 and that bill will now be moving to the House.
I continue to be hopeful we will find new permanent funding for education, as well as the expansion of Medicaid. I will be writing more in future articles on these two issues as well as several ideas that are beginning to emerge addressing funding for economic development.
Again please feel free to contact me at rep.parsley@state.sd.us regarding issues you are interested in.

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