Rep. Heinemann’s Legislative Report

By Rep. Leslie Heinemann
With two weeks of the session behind us, it has been an enjoyable and learning experience!
Agency bills were introduced, many of which dealt with word changes and updating state code. I am on the Health and Human Services Committee, and we have heard from the Department of Social Services and the Board of Hearing Aid Dispensers and Audiologists, to name a few.
Some of you may have heard about the Sentinel Bill, HB 1087 of which I am a co-sponsor. This bill would allow school boards, at their discretion, to create, establish and supervise individual school sentinel programs to promote school safety.  We have a similar program in place at the Flandreau Public Schools, and I like the idea of local control. Some school boards may see a need for it, and others may not.  I believe it is important to work with local law enforcement, so that everyone is aware of the personnel involved. If you have any thoughts, let me know. I appreciate your input.
This past week, the Tourism Bill, HB 1066, recieved a lot of support in both the House and Senate and was passed by a large majority. As  you may have heard, the sunset provision would have ended that extra half cent tax.  I supported removing the sunset provision so that the extra revenue would allow the Department of Tourism to promote South Dakota to a larger regional market.
It will be difficult to come to a final state budget if, like Senator Thune alluded to recently,  we fail to  deal with entitlements at the national level. We need a safety net in place  for those citizens in our society, but we need to deal with our deficit as well.
If you are interested in testifying on a bill, or just coming out to Pierre to see how the process works, let me know and I’ll do what I can to facilitate your time here. We enjoy seeing familiar faces and if you want to get involved in the process, there’s plenty of opportunity!
When you send me an e-mail, please sign it as the address does not always show me who the person is, and you can imagine the mass e-mails that are sent to each representative.
This next week will be a busy one. I’ll have more on the different bills then.
As always, I am grateful for and humbled by the responsibility to serve the people of District 8. Please contact me at or the House phone at 605-773-3851.

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