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. What did the Senate do Thursday in the fight over joint custody?
A. Senators voted 21-13 against the proposed changes, which would have put the parents on equal footing at the start of a custody proceeding. It would have required a parent to prove to a judge why he or she should have a greater share of the custody.
Q. Why did Sen. Tim Begalka introduce Senate Bill 125?
A. Begalka, R-Clear Lake, said divorced parents often feel they didn't get a fair shake and are financially broke. He wants fathers on the same plane as mothers in custodial disputes.
The populace of South Dakota is overwhelmingly in favor of this, in my opinion, he said.
He wept as he finished his closing speech.
Q. Why the opposition?
A. Sen. Deb Peters, R-Hartford, said many people reach custody agreements without needing judges to solve the differences. She said the bill would have wiped out some of the changes made by the Legislature last year.
Q. How is Rep. Charlie Hoffman doing in attempting to close public access to public water above private land?
A. On a 12-1 vote the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee recommended Thursday that House Bill 1135 pass. Hoffman, R-Eureka, is chairman. The House of Representatives could take up the bill Tuesday. A key point would allow the landowner to conspicuously post signs closing water access over the private land.
Q. How are the working holidays for veterans proceeding?
A. House members voted 70-0 Thursday to designate the third Friday of September as POW-MIA Recognition Day and Aug. 7 as Purple Heart Recognition day. House Bill 1067 and House Bill 1084 now head to the Senate. House members await further action on designating March 30 as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. That bill, Senate Bill 83, received Senate approval 31-0.
Q. Will video lottery establishments get to have more than 10 machines?
A. At this point, the answer is no. The legislation was killed Thursday at the request of its sponsor, Sen. Dan Lederman, R-Dakota Dunes. Senate Bill 242 would have allowed establishments to have four more terminals if they used the new slot machine-style software. Lederman said he will bring it back next year.
Q. What happened to the plan to establish five public charter schools for American Indian students on reservations?
A. Sen. Mark Johnston, R-Sioux Falls, set aside Senate Bill 202 on Thursday. He said negotiations on the proposal fell apart.
Q. Who was the former legislator who spoke to the Senate and the House of Representatives?
A. It is certainly my honor to meet with you today, U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem told House members. Noem, R-Hayti, served four years as a state representative before her election to Congress in 2010. Her advice to legislators what to expect from Congress and the federal government: Prepare for the consequences of inaction.
Q. Why did Sen. Lederman thank Gov. Dennis Daugaard?
A. Lederman seemed to think joint custody was so important as a topic that the governor would make a rare appearance to watch the debate.
I think he's here to see Kristi Noem, Lt. Gov. Matt Michels said.
Let me live the dream, Lederman replied.
Q. When do the lawmakers return?
A. They're taking today off and will be back Monday. That will be working day 21 of the 38-day session this year.