Rep. Heinemann’s Feb. 19 Report

Week six is in the books as we look to clear the calendar of the 400-some bills that get filed every year. Crossover day is coming up this next week, so if a legislator has a particular idea that was filed as a bill, it needs to be acted on, whether passed out of committee or defeated, by this coming week. Then, if successful, that bill will move to the other chamber to be scheduled, in committee, for another opportunity for the public to provide input and testimony before it is voted on and possibly moved to that respective floor for passage.
HB 1074 would provide certain limits for out of state contributions to ballot question committees. Several of you have asked about this. Based on some court rulings, it is very difficult to limit out of state money due to the issue of free speech, however this would be very narrow and would attempt to address those concerns.
HB 1073 would keep the $100 limit of gifts to legislators (from IM 22), but better define what is a gift. The definition was not workable in the ballot question as, even legislators with spouses as teachers would be violating this gift ban. A gift, in that ballot question definition, was any compensation given to a legislator, including his or her spouse.
SB 163, 53, 54, 171, and 131 all deal with parts of IM 22, so I urge you to take a look at them and give me your thoughts.
SCR 11 was a concurrent resolution that passed overwhelmingly this past week in the House, 67-1. It simply stated we South Dakotans oppose physician assisted suicide. You probably won’t hear much in the media about it, but the question of physician assisted suicide will likely be an initiated measure ballot question in 2018, and I wanted to provide information to the public about this subject before the citizens of South Dakota are faced with this question.
As you can see by the vote, including a 32-3 vote in the Senate, our legislators strongly oppose physician assisted suicide. All you need to do is look at what has happened in the Netherlands, where assisted suicide has been legal for  over 40 years, and realize that when more than 50 percent of the assisted suicides there are no longer voluntary, meaning without the patients consent, we do not want to go down that path. If you have any questions on that topic, please contact me.
We have a number of other issues to take up this week. I would encourage you, if you are interested, to log on to www.sdlegislature.gov and you can listen to any of the testimony on any of the above mentioned bills, or any of the others I have not mentioned. It takes some time, but gives you a very important insight to the discussions we have on all the bills.
As always you can contact me at Leslie.Heinemann@sdlegislature.gov. I look forward to your input.

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