Editor's note: As part of the coverage of the 2013 legislative session, the American News will provide, on most days, a list of 10 pieces of information helpful to understanding what is — and sometimes isn’t — happening at the state Capitol during the session’s three-month run.
Q. Will this be the year the Legislature passes the “Good Samaritan” exemption for under-age drinkers who telephone for medical help for a drunken peer?
A. The Senate voted 29-6 Tuesday to give immunity to one person to contact an EMT or a law enforcement officer when medically necessary.
“This bill sends the right message,” said its prime sponsor, Sen. Larry Tidemann, R-Brookings.
Q. What are the sides?
A. Senate Bill 132 now moves to the House of Representatives, where it has failed the past two years. College students traveled each year to the Capitol to urge passage of the Tidemann legislation. Law enforcement lobbyists have opposed it. That split held true again this year in the Senate committee hearing, with the EMTs organization now supporting it.
Q. Will the Legislature give more authority to its rules review committee?
A. The Senate voted 35-0 Tuesday to approve Senate Bill 185, clarifying the process used by the committee in deciding whether administrative rules should be allowed to take effect. An agency would be allowed to make an amendment during the hearing before the rules committee, if the committee agreed. The bill now goes to the House.
Q. How did the rustling bill fare Tuesday in the House?
A. Rep. Betty Olson, R-Prairie City, significantly amended her legislation. She wanted rustling to become a Class 4 felony. Instead she settled for adding sheep and goats to existing state law on grand theft of livestock that is a Class 6 felony. The legislation, House Bill 1083, passed 66-2 and crosses to the Senate next.
Q. Where does the education tax-credit legislation stand?
A. Rep. Don Kopp, R-Rapid City, pulled House Bill 1173. There wasn’t support within the House Taxation Committee, whose members killed the bill Tuesday at Kopp’s request. He wanted property owners to receive a credit on their property taxes for their K-12 education costs if their children are enrolled in a nonpublic school.
Q. Did a significant rewrite of some of South Dakota’s aviation laws fly through the Senate?
A. The attempt by Sen. Jeff Monroe, R-Pierre, was grounded by a 21-14 vote against it Tuesday. Senate Bill 224 dealt with various airport requirements and had taken off on a 4-1 recommendation by the Senate Local Government Committee, but its flight didn’t last.
Q. Is the Brown constitutional amendment moving forward?
A. The Senate voted 25-10 Tuesday in favor of putting a proposed amendment on the 2014 ballot that would require tax increases and new taxes to pass by a two-thirds majority in a statewide vote. Currently only a majority is required for a tax initiative, while a two-thirds majority is required in each chamber of the Legislature.The resolution from Sen. Corey Brown, R-Gettysburg, now goes to the House for consideration.
Q. Who’s against it?
A. Sen. Chuck Welke, D-Warner, argued that a change isn’t necessary. He said the initiative has been intended to allow the voters to take action when the Legislature doesn’t accurately reflect their desire. Welke is a retired teacher and school administrator.
Q. How did the Senate vote break?
A. All seven Democrats and three of the Republicans opposed it. The Republicans are from Rapid City: Stan Adelstein, Bruce Rampelberg and Craig Tieszen.
Q. Who howled briefly after the Senate unanimously approved the wolf-hunting bill?
A. That was Sen. Tim Begalka, R-Clear Lake. Senate Bill 205 would add wolves to the state list of predators that can be hunted. The prime sponsor, Sen. Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell, stressed it would take effect only when South Dakota has clear authority for wolves to be hunted. The bill now goes to the House.