As the South Dakota Legislature completes its third week, there is a definite increase in the number and pace of bills being introduced. As of Friday, a total of 236 House bills and 173 Senate bills had been introduced, along with 30 resolutions (combined House and Senate).
The Council on Public Policy is actively tracking 22 bills, supporting seven legislative initiatives and monitoring 15. The deadline for unlimited bills and resolutions was Jan. 25, whereas Jan. 30 is the deadline for having any bill requests into the Legislative Research Council.
In addition, the Joint Committee on Appropriations heard testimony this week from the Department of Health (DOH) related to their annual budget. There are several important programs managed by DOH that directly impact the health care field.
Among the provisions, the DOH is requesting $179,666 in funding for the first year of a new family practice rural residency program. The funds would initially support two residents and would increase to a total of six over three years. The residency program will be based at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre. Lawmakers shared questions with Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health, related to the anticipated retention rate for graduates to remain in state.
In addition, legislation is anticipated to be introduced to restrict opioid prescriptions, changes to worker compensation and increase taxes on tobacco sales. a