This has been a week full of an extensive variety of bills. I will speak to a few of them today including House Bill 1161 which is to provide incentives for job creation and to establish a rural economic development partnership program, House Bill 1194 which gives more time during the year for setting off fireworks, and House Bill 1217, which allows easier access to become an organ donor.
House Bill 1161 is An Act to establish and provide certain incentives for projects that create new jobs or promote economic activity and to establish the rural economic development partnership program. This is the beginning piece of a greater economic development plan. As of right now South Dakota has no large competitive economic incentive as compared to other states. We need to have something in place to compete, but that doesn’t go against the will of the voters who struck down the plan we passed in 2011. HB 1161 is a new concept and focuses on the smaller projects and challenges in rural and small town South Dakota.
House Bill 1194 is An Act to revise the period during which fireworks may be discharged. If it makes it through the whole of the legislative process we will be able to shoot fireworks June 27th through the end of the first Sunday after July 4th and also beginning December 28th through January 1st. This would be a great bill to see passed as fireworks are always fun to celebrate with. This DOES NOT allow more time to sell just extends the week in the event the 4th of July falls on a Wednesday then you can choose the weekend before or after to celebrate. Cities and municipalities will still be allowed to pass their own appropriate ordinances.
One of the most gripping pieces of legislation this week came out of State Affairs February 13. House Bill 1217 called for more options, by means of the internet, in allowing people to change their status from non-organ donor to organ donor in just a few clicks. It also would allow people to change their organ donor status at any time. What were most heart-wrenching during committee were the testimonies brought forth by many families who had lost children and how they decided to give their children’s organs for those in need. Another family explained how their daughter had marked her license as an organ donor saving many others lives, including a two-year-old boy, and how it has been a blessing in their lives and others to this day. The word “gift” stood out time and time again as those who had received organs also testified; explaining that they would not have been testifying without those who gave the gift of life through organ donation. As tears hit the floor in committee in memory of those lives lost, and those lives that live due to organ donations, State Affairs passed the bill unanimously 13-0. It is legislation like this that reminds us of why we are here this session.
As always your input and concerns are appreciated. I can be contacted by phone @ 605-769-1017 (please leave a message if you do not get me). I can also be contacted by email at either my personal or my state . Traditional mail may be sent to PO Box 42 Gettysburg SD 57442.