Gov. Dennis Daugaard will deliver the State of the State address at noon on Jan. 9, which is the traditional start of the annual legislative session in South Dakota. The legislative session typically encompasses 40 days and concludes in March. This year, Kim Gillan, VP, State & Federal Relations, and Scott Duke, President/CEO, will lead the Association’s advocacy effort in Pierre with assistance from Gil Johnson, VP, Business Development, and the rest of the SDAHO team.

As in past years, eight legislative forums were held in December and early January. The forums provided an opportunity for board members, health care leaders and medical providers to meet and discuss important issues with state legislators. This year, nearly 40 percent of the members of the South Dakota Legislature participated in these forums, sharing information about potential legislative issues and reflecting on the state’s financial outlook.  Other issues discussed included the focus on opioid abuse, South Dakota Health Care Solutions Coalition and civil monetary penalties.

During the upcoming weeks as legislation is introduced, we will strive to provide expeditious updates through under the “bill tracker” link. Also, the Council on Public Policy will meet weekly on Thursdays to review legislation and determine if a position is warranted.

It is anticipated that the budget will dominate legislative activity this year. The governor did not include inflationary increases for health care providers, except for moving community-based providers toward 90 percent of costs. At this time, potential legislation is anticipated involving the use and reimbursement of telemedicine, physician licensing renewal, raising the age for the purchase/use of tobacco and limiting opioid prescriptions.