Rep. Heinemann’s Weekly Column

By Rep. Leslie Heinemann
The majority of time in the final week of Session will be spent balancing the state budget. We will use fiscal responsibility to spend tax dollars wisely while prioritizing funding for education, taking care of people, and economic development. I will highlight some of the bills we discussed this past week.
SB 84 (Athletic Commission) – The bill would create a new commission to regulate boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts and sparring competitions. It passed the Senate 29-6 and the House 50-20. I did not support this bill as I was willing to create a Boxing Commission but not include any of the mixed martial arts competitions that emphasized bodily harm as a focus rather than technique and skill. There were changes to the bill, so it will need concurrence with the Senate before it goes to the Governor.
SB 105, 106, 107 and 216 (Teen Driving Task Force Bills) two of the four Teen Driving Task Force bills have been defeated in committee and two were passed to the House floor for final action. The bills to extend the 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. time restriction (SB 105) and to limit the number of passengers a minor may transport (SB 107) were defeated.
SB 106 would prohibit minors from using wireless communication devices while driving. It passed the Senate 26-9 and House Transportation 8-5.
SB 216 would establish a state-wide driver education program. It passed the Senate 30-5 and House Transportation 8-5. We will be taking those two up this coming week.
SB 142 (Texting While Driving Ban) – The bill would prohibit the use of certain handheld electronic wireless devices for texting while driving. It passed the Senate 24-9, but was defeated in House Judiciary 8-5, thus no further action will be possible on that particular issue.
SB 119 (High School Sports Media Bill) – The bill would prohibit exclusive coverage contracts for media coverage of high school activities. The bill passed the Senate 27-8 and the House 50-20. I supported it, but it really affected mostly the larger school districts. We are thankful for those media outlets that do cover our local sports and high school activities.
Many of you have shown an interest in the School Sentinel Bill. It passed the Senate 21-14, and will go to a conference committee. If the differences are worked out, it will go to the Governor for his signature. The local media will likely have some of my thoughts on this pending legislation.
HB 1142 (Patient Choice Bill) – Proponents argue the bill is necessary to allow patients to choose medical providers who do not participate in their health care network/plan. It will be up for Senate consideration this coming week.
HB 1161 (Economic Development & Job Creation Bill) – The Bill passed the House 63-6 and is now up for hearing March 4.
If you have a particular bill or issue, please contact me at Rep.Heinemann@state.sd.us. As you can see there are too many issues to cover in this column. My hope is to cover some of these issues more in depth in later weekly news columns, but for now, keep you somewhat up to date during the session. I’m enjoying the challenge and look forward to your input.
I thoroughly enjoyed sponsoring Lexy Antoine, a senior at Flandreau Public, as a page in the House the past two weeks. What a wonderful experience to have such a talented young woman interact with the various House members, and I encourage anyone interested in being a page next year to let me know. We’d love to have you!

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