Heinemann Feb. 12 Weekly Report

Week five was just completed. District 8 cracker barrels were held this past weekend, with a good attendance at both Flandreau and Madison.
The bulk of the discussion at the cracker barrels centered around IM 22, and how to deal with the various ways of allowing it to stand or repair/replace it. As I mentioned at the open forums, I am interested in your thoughts, but some of the discussion/feedback has been threatening, and, while I try not to take things personally, some of you have resorted to attacks on me and my family. Please consider the consequences of your actions and words, as the voters of District 8 expect  and deserve respectful dialogue.
I have discussed the IM 22 issue in previous columns, so I will highlight some of the legislation that is making its way through the process, in particular, bills that attempt to address the shortfalls of IM 22. Remember that there are five steps for an idea, or bill, as we call it, to become law. Most of the House bills have been considered in their respective committee, with a few left to consider this week, and then they will have to be acted on by crossover day, Feb. 23. The same goes for an idea that originates in the Senate.
SB 172 authorizes the SD Building Authority to provide for the construction of and improvements to the State Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory and infrastructure at South Dakota State University, to increase and establish certain agricultural fees, to transfer certain funds, to make an appropriation, and to declare an emergency. The Joint Appropriations will be hearing that bill this week, and I would like your feedback.
HB 1133 would require each school district to adopt a plan to provide for students with specific learning disabilities. This is a continuation of the dyslexia discussion the last two years, and has many stakeholders. I also would like some input from school board members, as well as parents of children with the above mentioned challenges.
HB 1073 would define a public official and further clarify what a gift is to that official. This is the beginning of the many bills (17 or 18) that were designed to address the intent of the passage of IM 22 last fall by the voters. This bill would keep the threshold of $100, meaning a gift of no more than $100 per year could be given by a lobbyist to a public official. It clarifies further what a gift is, as well as defines “compensation to an immediate family member,” which was a serious issue with IM 22. Many members of the Legislature have spouses who work, as we are a citizen legislature, and simply working for a school district disqualified many legislators from serving because of spousal employment, since schools have registered lobbyists in Pierre.
Please take a look at the LRC website to review the various bills that will be up for discussion. You can contact me at Leslie.Heinemann@sdlegislature.gov any time. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the SD House.

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