Week Six Recap
HB 1220, An Act to provide that a female who undergoes an unlawful abortion may not be held criminally liable, passed in House Judiciary and was placed on consent for the House of Representatives! With the overturn of Roe v Wade, abortion policymaking has been returned to the states. In seizing this opportunity, we can continue to create policies to protect unborn children, but we can also create policies to not further harm abortion-vulnerable women. Women are victims of abortion and require our empathy and support as well as access to counseling and social service. HB 1220 ensures that any woman who undergoes an unlawful abortion may not be held criminally liable. This piece of legislation is imperative that as we continue our work to protect unborn children, we also provide and strengthen life-affirming resources for women who are vulnerable to abortions. Listen to the hearing:
SB 142, An Act prohibiting certain persons from using the title veterinary technician, passed the Senate and will move on to the House side this week! Working with the SD Veterinary Medical Association, professors, students, veterinary technicians, and veterinarians on this effort has been very rewarding. I have met so many wonderful people dedicated to quality care for animals! Listen to the Senate hearing:
SB 143, An Act to raise the revenue threshold for a required audit of a water development district, also passed the Senate and will move to the House side this week. This legislation is cost-effective for the West Dakota Water Development District and saves taxpayers. Listen to the Senate hearing:
SB 192 An Act to provide liability for the publishing or distributing material harmful to minors on the internet and the wrongful retention of individually identifiable information failed in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Arguments brought by opponents were a carbon copy of what these lobbyists have said in the past to ensure pornography isn't limited in any way in South Dakota. South Dakota is rarely among the first to pass any laws (good in some cases, not so good in others). We could be the 8th, 9th, or 10th state to pass this next year. Listen to the hearing:
SB 193, An Act to establish provisions related to the review and selection of instructional materials in school districts, failed in the Senate Education Committee. I sincerely appreciate the parents, school administrators, and school board members who have reached out with support and kindness. This was a simple bill to create clarity and accountability for all school districts, something the legislature frequently does. The hostility expressed by some has been disappointing but not unexpected. Listen to the hearing:
This week kept us occupied with legislation, although there always seems to be time for drama (politics, no?) We also managed to find time to address modifying practice criteria for physicians assistants (the intent was to expand access to healthcare in rural South Dakota- failed in the Senate), revise the process for nominating candidates for statewide offices (this passed the Senate, I was a no vote, what do you think?).
We also had Rapid City Day at the Capitol hosted by Elevate Rapid City, the Governor's Awards in the Arts, and I was happy to sponsor the Boots and Beauties event in Box Elder. Unfortunately, this next week we're hearing one-two foot of snow, but we will be at the Capitol come heck or... high snow.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as the state Senator for my home district of 35 (Rapid Valley, Box Elder, and northeastern Rapid City). Onward!