Week 4 District 8 Legislative Update

By Wiese

By Rep. Marli Wiese

It was good to meet with constituents in Flandreau, Madison and Howard last weekend, and I am thankful to the groups that arranged these cracker barrels. Many times, there are questions and comments that we haven’t seen yet, and it helps to know what issues residents of our District are interested in.

All school districts are anxious to hear about sales tax revenue numbers for the last quarter of 2019. We may have good estimates by the end of this week. Legislators are working with the appropriations committee to see if we can give teachers, state employees, and community support providers the increase they need.  

There were several questions about the security system installed at the capitol this fall.  This was not an expenditure that legislators were asked to approve. The system was up and running earlier this year and appears now to be fully operational.

House Bill 1083 to adopt the change in name from technical institutes to technical colleges passed out of the Education committee and the full house floor last week. The bill was proposed as a marketing tool as technical schools work to enroll more students. There were concerns that, since enrollment at tech schools was growing while the Board of Regents schools struggled to hold students, that the bill wasn’t needed. Surrounding states also making this change was another reason for the bill’s introduction.

The Judiciary committee heard HB1047 revising provisions regarding human trafficking. Becky Rasmussen with Call To Freedom was instrumental in the drafting of this bill and has been working with trafficking victims in the state. The bill enhances the crime of human trafficking and allows a minor to apply for expungement of their record while they are still a minor instead of waiting until they are 18 years of age to appear in court on their own. The bill also provides better access to victim resources in terms of victim compensation and restitution.

Madison residents, Kim Verhey and Dan Fritz with American Legion Post #25, were in Pierre last week to receive a commemoration recognizing and honoring the Veterans Park to be built in Madison. The commemoration was read in both the House and Senate chambers. It is our hope that this will draw more attention to the project and assist Post #25 as they continue in fundraising.

I can be reached at  marli.wiese@sdlegislature.gov with any questions or comments you may have as the 95th session enters its fifth week.

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