The South Dakota legislature officially concluded when legislators convened to discuss and vote on gubernatorial vetoes this past Monday. In the end, the governor’s vetoes were not overridden, and none involved health care issues. The Joint Committee on Appropriations (JCA) hopes to exercise oversight to state agencies on key appropriation decisions, which is briefly outlined in a separate article.
In addition, the legislative Executive Committee (EC) met on Monday to decide on the topics for summer studies in advance of next year’s session. After considering the priority rankings of legislators, the EC decided upon two studies:
- A study to examine access to mental health services in South Dakota; and
- A study to assess and examine the increasing need for special education in schools.
Throughout the legislative session, there were ongoing discussions about the social, financial and community impacts of mental health needs and services in both rural and urban areas of South Dakota. The summer study process provides an opportunity to focus on this important issue, including how persons with mental illness receive treatment through the continuum of care. The study will examine facilities, locations, resources, treatment options and services available and the financial costs to the state and its political subdivisions .
The EC will appoint membership for the summer study committees at their next meeting in late April. Legislators will be polled to determine their interest in the topics and serving on the committee. The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) will monitor the summer studies and provide updates as they become available.